Teen won't turn on friend, pleads guilty to burglary

NORWICH – A 17-year-old youth pleaded guilty in court Friday without any conditions from the prosecution, placing himself at the mercy of the court after refusing to testify against his alleged co-conspirator.

Anthony J. Pierce, 17, pleaded guilty to the top charge against him, third degree burglary. The defense reserved its right to appeal and pleaded guilty after District Attorney Joseph McBride said he would ask for a “strong” sentence because, in his opinion, Pierce lied.

“Because he lied, he should go to prison for two and a third to seven years. If he wants to be a gangster, he can be a gangster in prison,” said McBride prior to Pierce making his plea.

This was the third time Pierce had appeared before the court in the last month to make a plea. Originally, the DA offered a plea bargain if he testified against his alleged co-conspirator, Daniel Sabines, 20. The two men were charged with breaking into Chenango Welding Supply March 10 and allegedly stealing $125 in cash. The plea bargain would have allowed Pierce to serve a year in the local jail instead of facing two and a third to seven years in state prison. Each time Pierce came to the court, he accepted his own role but refused each time to implicate any other parties.

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