Early end to probation for man who killed teen - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Early end to probation for man who killed teen

By Chuck Weber email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)-It was a tragic case that grabbed headlines-- a teenager playing a prank shot and killed in the middle of the night by a homeowner in Boca Raton. It happened in 2003. Friday a judge approved an early end to the shooter's probation.

Jay Levin shot 16-year old Mark Drewes in the back. Drewes was celebrating his birthday, when he knocked at Levin's door. Levin told police he believed he was in danger.

A year later as his trial was about to begin, Levin took a plea deal. Drewes' parents, eager for closure, gave their blessing.

Under the deal, Levin pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He served weekends in jail for a year and got 10 years probation. The deal also said prosecutors would not oppose an early end to probation.

Friday the teen's parents spoke against terminating Levin's probation, asserting along with prosecutors, the judge still had discretion in the matter.

Mark's father, Greg Drewes, read a statement to the judge. He said, "If we knew then what we know now, we would not have agreed to any plea. In the five years since Jay Levin pleaded guilty, he has proven himself to be unremorseful."

But Judge John Hoy ruled, under the deal, Levin was entitled to the early end to probation, and granted it.

Levin's lawyer, Mark Shapiro, said his client was pleased to be able to move on with his life. "He's very sorry," said Shapiro. "He's maintained from the start, he's very sorry this ever occurred. He's sorry for the Drewes family."

The Drewes' and their lawyer said they would continue to pursue justice, in seeking to collect on the $750,000 judgement a civil court jury ordered Levin to pay them. Levin's insurance has turned over $100,000 so far. The Drewes' have vowed to give the money to charities, to honor the memory of their son Mark.

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