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US Tourists Plead Guilty

American tourists plead guilty over brawl with police in Antigua

Oct 04, 2009

Five New Yorkers charged with brawling with cops on the island of Antigua pleaded guilty Saturday after striking a deal that's expected to spare them jail time.

The pleas came as prosecutors dropped charges against a sixth member of the group, which found trouble in paradise during a tropical cruise last month.

A judge will sentence the five tourists from Brooklyn Monday, and is expected to slap them with fines. They were facing up to two years behind bars.

Still, the tourists' worried families remained on edge.

"I don't know what to think of it until I speak with my son," said Margot Rodney, mother of 25-year-old Joshua Jackson from Marine Park.

The trial lasted nearly a month before prosecutors and defense attorneys struck the deal. The tourists faced several charges, including assault, battery and malicious damage.

Defense lawyer Steadroy Benjamin told the Associated Press he was satisfied the deal was reached after several days of testimony because it gave everyone an opportunity to hear evidence from both sides.

Jackson, Shoshonnah Henry, 24, Rachel Henry, 27, Nancy Lalanne, 22, Dolores Lalanne, 25, and Mike Pierre-Paul, 24, have remained on the island since they stepped off a Carnival cruise ship Sept. 4.

They were on their way to the beach in a taxi when the brouhaha erupted.

The friends claimed that when when they balked at paying a $100 fare - double what they negotiated with the hack - they were driven straight to a police station.

They said that when they came face-to-face with cops the dispute quickly became out of control.

Plainclothes officers, who did not identify themselves as cops, attacked the New Yorkers, they claimed.

During the trial, police officers testified the tourists hit them first, bit them and pulled their hair after the cab driver brought them to the station.

Prosecutors presented dozens of pictures that showed the officers' injuries, including one of a bite wound that required stitches.

American tourists plead guilty over brawl with police in Antigua
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