The only adult charged in a Key Biscayne crime spree this January entered a guilty plea Monday, but prosecutors dropped the most serious armed robbery charge. Key Biscayne police had accused Levare Holton and four minors of being part of a group that allegedly threatened two island teens with guns.
In a plea deal, Holton pleaded guilty to burglarizing cars and an unrelated grand theft. The deal was for 30 days in jail, two years probation, an apology and $500 restitution. He will also have to stay away from the victims.
Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch agreed to withhold adjudication on the charges, however, which means Holton will not have a conviction on his record. The special sentence is often used for first offenders who are placed on probation. Levare Holton turns 19 next week.
In a memo, prosecutors said that while they believed Levare Holton was present when his juvenile codefendants brandished firearms, “this defendant did not participate or aid the codefendants” and therefore the state would not be able to proceed with filing charges.
Two other teens, both minors, earlier took plea deals as part of the juvenile justice system. The cases of two other juvenile defendants remain pending.
The Key Biscayne Independent is not naming the teens, although it is a matter of public record, because they have not been charged as adults. The State Attorney’s Office makes the decision on whether to charge juvenile defendants as adults, but typically only does so in extreme cases and only after an internal review process.
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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.