On Friday, Oct. 12, Andrea Brennan, 38, a Van Buren Public Schools teacher, returned to Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit for a docket conference before Judge Edward Ewell, Jr.
Brennan was accompanied by attorney Randall Lewis who was standing in for her attorney Loren Dickstein.
Representing the State was Assistant Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Lora Weingarden, who in 2004, was appointed by Prosecutor Kym Worthy to lead the Child Abuse Division.
Lewis told Judge Ewell the defendant’s attorney had offered to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. But Assistant Prosecutor Weingarden said the Prosecutor’s office does not wish to lower the charges, so there is no agreement.
“I don’t think we’ll be able to work that out,” Weingarden told the judge, adding that the defendant’s attorney is providing “more paper” to the prosecutor’s office, but that won’t change their minds.
Brennan is charged with distributing sexually explicit material to a minor, a felony punishable by up to two years in prison; use of a computer to commit a crime, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison; and furnishing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to $10,000 fine.
“These cases are taken very, very seriously,” Weingarden said in a recent interview. “When we send our kids to school the last thing on our mind is that we have to protect our kids from his or her teacher.”
In 2007, Weingarden successfully brought felony convictions to a 31-year-old Canton teacher at Plymouth Christian Academy for having sex with a 15-year-old male student.
Brennan is not accused of sexual relations with the 15-year-old North Middle School student with whom, Van Buren Township Police report, she was found drinking at 1:30 a.m. July 10 in a vehicle in the parking lot of Beck Road ball field.
Police said they later found a history of her text-messaging the juvenile and found a topless photo of her on the teen’s cell phone. Although the teen was a student at North Middle School, Brennan, who taught there, was never his teacher.
Motions are due in the case Nov. 23 and the final conference is set for Nov. 30. If a plea agreement cannot be reached by then, a trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 14, 2013.
Judge Ewell was advised the defense has two witnesses and the prosecution has four witnesses, so the trail is expected to last two days.