ELIZABETH – Two men who allegedly robbed a state lawmaker could avoid prison and instead undergo drug counseling as part of a plea bargain arrangement.
Brian Kinney and Antoine Neal, both of Elizabeth, must apply to drug court and plead guilty to the April 18th robbery if they are accepted. If they are accepted, the defendants are likely to receive about six to 18 months of in-patient care and up to 5 years of continuing supervision.
Both defendants face charges of burglary, theft and making terroristic threats and could serve up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted on all counts.
The men robbed state Sen. Raymond Lesniak in his Elizabeth home in April. The 62-year-old Union County Democrat said that the robbers took cash, his BlackBerry and the keys to his Lexus.
Lesniak said that he was pleased with the outcome of the case and had recommended drug treatment over prison time. He said that non-prison alternatives are generally better for society because they are less expensive and “work a lot better than just throwing people in jail.”
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