Two inmates plead guilty to vandalism at Mass. jail

LOWELL, Mass. — Two inmates charged with inciting a near-riot at the Cambridge Jail in the summer of 2009 that caused nearly $300,000 in damage pleaded guilty last week, according to Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone.

On July 5, 2009, the Middlesex County Jail was put into lockdown. Three prisoners on the 18th floor were seen smashing sprinkler heads that resulted in a flow of 25 to 35 gallons of water per minute to pour down to the ground floor. The flooding required authorities to shut electricity off to the building and destroyed equipment, including several computers.

David Agneta, 31, pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property over $250, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a correctional officer. He was sentenced to three years and one day in state prison on top of a sentence he is already serving, followed by five years of probation.

During the fray, he used a 6-foot-long wooden seat from a picnic bench to attack a correctional officer.

Agneta was also ordered to join fellow defendant Stephen Andrade, formerly of Lowell, in paying $289,517 in restitution. Andrade pleaded guilty Aug. 6 to charges of malicious destruction of property over $250, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a correctional officer.

Andrade, who threw a glass object, which shattered on a correctional officer’s head and back, was sentenced to an additional two years in state prison, followed by five years probation.

Also last week, Justin Deprospo, 25, pleaded guilty to charges of malicious destruction of property over $250, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery on a correctional officer for hitting them with a wooden plank.

He was sentenced to one year and one day in state prison following the sentence he is currently serving, followed by three years probation. He was also ordered to pay $5,000 restitution.

“These three defendants have now admitted to causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage while maliciously endangering many lives, specifically endangering the lives of the correctional officers, with their destructive and assaultive behavior,” Leone said. “On behalf of the taxpayers, we are pleased that the court held the defendants financially accountable for the damage they caused.”

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