Oxford teen admits responsibility in arson

PONTIAC ? An Oxford teen admitted responsibility in Oakland County Circuit Court Thursday for the Jan. 15 arson of a construction bus parked at the middle school.
Before Judge Elizabeth Pezzetti, 16-year-old Brandon Bartley admitted responsibility to a felony arson charge. Because he pleaded as a juvenile, an admission of responsibility is the same as a no contest plea for an adult, which is treated as a guilty plea in the court system.
Bartley had also been charged with malicious destruction of personal property, also a felony, but the prosecutor dismissed the charge.
Bartley is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, June 19.
The charges against Bartley stemmed from a Jan. 15 incident in which he and Oxford resident Nathaniel Bennett, 18, used flares to set a 1974 GMC school bus ? owned by the Novi-based Jack D. Anglin Company and used to store construction tools and equipment ? on fire in the middle school parking lot.
Bennett previously pleaded guilty to three felony charges against him and was sentenced March 25 by Judge Richard Kuhn to one year in county jail on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. The last five months of Bennett’s sentence are to be served at the county’s Regimented Inmate Discipline Program (commonly referred to as Boot Camp).
The 18-year-old was charged with arson, breaking and entering of a vehicle and stealing property, and malicious destruction of personal property.
Just prior to the arson, Bennett stole two Motorola two-way radios from Oxford school buses parked at the district garage on Lakeville Road.
A 16-year-old Oxford girl who was riding in the same car with Bennett and Bartley on the night they committed the crimes was not charged.
According to testimony, the girl never exited the vehicle or participated in the crimes.