(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) 18-year-old Brendan Depta, a student at Matanzas High School, pleaded no contest to the first-degree felony aggravated battery charge against an educational employee, Fox News reported on Tuesday.
The plea comes in the aftermath of a distressing incident where Depta was captured on video brutally assaulting Joan Naydich, a teacher’s aide at the school, reportedly over the confiscation of a Nintendo Switch.
JUST IN: 6’6” 270 pound black male student attacks a white teacher at Matanzas High School for taking away his Nintendo Switch during class…
Video reveals the unconscious woman being brutally assaulted and struck in the head roughly 15 times. https://t.co/pZAJzhaykv
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) February 24, 2023
The incident, which has since gone viral, showed the 270-pound student violently attacking Naydich, resulting in severe injuries including two broken ribs and bruises. Despite attempts by the defense team to seek leniency, Naydich stood firm, expressing the need for the incident to raise awareness.
“I’m hopeful that the awareness of this incident being spread far and wide will prevent anyone else from ever dealing with the trauma, physical healing, and disruption of everyday life this has caused,” she said last month on a GoFundMe page.
In response to the attack, a court granted Naydich a permanent injunction for protection against further violence, Fox said.
Depa was charged as an adult with first-degree felony aggravated battery on an elected official of education employee. As reported by local media, he could face up to 30 years in prison.
The gravity of the alleged violence was further highlighted by body camera footage from the Sheriff’s Office, which revealed Depta’s continued aggressive behavior even while in custody.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (in Florida) arrested a 17-year-old 6’6”, 270-pound student who was recorded severely beating a Matanzas High School aide on Feb. 21 after she confiscated his Nintendo Switch. He’s been charged with felony aggravated battery. pic.twitter.com/EuVpLvQcxb
— Andy Ngô ️ (@MrAndyNgo) February 24, 2023
Kurt Teifke, Depta’s attorney, described his client as “doing well,” despite being held in Flagler County jail on a $1 million bond.
WESH-TV reported that Depta is considered a special needs student. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 31, indicating that no agreement has been reached between the defense and the prosecutors, according to the News-Journal.