Nearing plea deal, teen shooting defendant collapses in court

Micah Rothwell

DOVER — Nearing a plea deal for his alleged role in a Smyrna shooting incident last spring, a 15-year-old defendant became dizzy and wobbled backward before court proceedings were suspended Tuesday morning.

An unsteady Micah Rothwell was helped into a chair and Superior Court Judge Noel Primos ordered a 10-minute break that was extended when medical personnel arrived with a gurney in what a bailiff described as a “medical emergency” when clearing the courtroom.

The plea deal was consummated later in the day.

The judge was in the midst of questioning the youth and his attorney Deborah Carey about understanding the ramifications of the agreement, which was based on the contention that the defendant was not the shooter in the incident. Mr. Rothwell’s mother was also aware of the negotiations and reviewed the offer, she said.

While the youth at one point told the judge “I’m good” regarding his condition, he also described himself as “still a little dizzy.”

Just a few minutes before, prosecuting Deputy Attorney General Stephen E. Smith presented an offer to lesser included offenses second-degree assault and second-degree conspiracy regarding a 19-year-old man who Smyrna Police said was shot in the Trevi Restaurant on April 22, 2017.

DAG Smith indicated the state would accept 12 months of Level III probation and incarceration time served since April 25, 2017 as a resolution. The plea was offered on Monday, he said. A maximum penalty of 10 years prison time was possible.

The defendant’s attorney said that while the youth had only completed eighth grade he “understands he’s to be treated as an adult on adult probation.” He has been held at Stevenson House Detention Center in Milford, according to court records.

The state defines Level III probation as intensive supervision with “at least the equivalent of one hour of supervision per day and no more than 56 hours of supervision per week.

“The minimum of one hour of supervision per day is achieved through direct offender contact, collateral contact, verification of each offender’s activities (e.g., residence, employment, training and school), and performance with court-ordered treatment and Community Service.

“The emphasis is on supervision through increased community contacts.”

Ms. Carey pointed to a co-defendant apparently ready to plead guilty to attempted murder in Family Court.

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