2 Plead No Contest in School Bomb Case

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two 18-year-olds charged with plotting to bomb Burbank High School walked out of jail Thursday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge.

Patrick Longmire of Burbank and Christopher Mannino of Van Nuys had been held in lieu of $1 million bail each since their arrests five weeks ago in an alleged conspiracy to explode a bomb at the school.

After Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Sandoval refused to lower Longmire's bail, the teen accepted the plea agreement rather than face another night at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, said his lawyer, Charles L. Lindner.

"He did not want to do any more time," Lindner said. "My client was looking at another 75 days for a crime that he did not commit."

Without reduced bail, the defendants faced months more in jail while awaiting trial, he said.

Earlier in the day, Mannino had accepted the plea deal but was told the offer was good only if both teens accepted it.

Under the deal, Longmire and Mannino pleaded no contest to misdemeanor conspiracy and were immediately released. They were ordered to serve three years' probation, complete 100 hours of community service, attend an anger management course and pay $100 to a victims restitution fund.

The pair had faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of felony attempted possession of a destructive device and conspiracy to injure people.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian said the deal was fair.

"We reviewed the facts. We reviewed the evidence," she said. "We believe it is appropriate."

Adomian also defended the high bail in a case that resulted in a misdemeanor plea. "I am not going to say it was inappropriate at the time when we asked for it.

Outside the Burbank Courthouse, Sam Mannino was waiting for his son's release.

"I'm happy that he is coming home," Mannino said. "I don't think that they had a case against him. I don't think he did anything wrong except maybe talk too much like kids do."

Mannino said he blames "any system that allows the police to run rampant without any evidence."

He said his son was beaten at least twice while in County Jail. "I would much rather have him home safe and sound than where he was."

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