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UT STUDENTS CHARGED WITH VANDALISM IN DORM FLOOD PLEAD GUILTY, AVOID JAIL

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Three UT students arrested for vandalism that resulted in the flooding of a UT residence hall have agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Nineteen-year-old John Robert Reed, and 18-year-olds Aaron Edward Griesmer and Thomas Harvey Bellet had been charged with felony vandalism in December. All three, suitemates in Clement Hall, admitted to punching ceiling tiles in the hallway outside their rooms.

One damaged pipe gushed 100 gallons of water per minute for about 20 minutes, flooding the 7th floor and all levels below. The dorm was evacuated; students were displaced and personal property destroyed. UT estimated the damage to be at least $2 million.

In court on Wednesday, the three pleaded guilty to misdemeanor vandalism in exchange for “judicial diversion.” If they stay out of trouble for the next 11 months and 29 days, the charges would be cleared from their records.

Reed, Griesmer and Bellet were each ordered to pay $2,419.78 in restitution and perform 56 hours of community service.

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