By Joseph A. Slobodzian, The Philadelphia Inquirer –
PHILADELPHIA — A Darby, Pa., teen who took up a Facebook solicitation to kill a Philadelphia woman’s boyfriend — but was unable to fulfill the hit — pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to house arrest and probation by a Philadelphia judge.
Timothy Bynum pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation to commit murder in a deal with the District Attorney’s Office that will put him on house arrest for 11-1/2 to 23 months followed by eight years of reporting probation.
“You got off light,” Common Pleas Court Judge James Murray Lynn told the 19-year-old.
But Lynn warned Bynum that if he violated the terms of his house arrest or probation in any way, “I will violate you and put you in prison and I will have 20 years to play with. Understand that?”
“Yes,” Bynum quietly replied, admitting he was “scared” by the situation he was in.
In addition to house arrest and probation, Bynum was told he may not use Facebook and any social media for the duration of his court-supervision.
Bynum, who has no prior arrest record and told Lynn “I’ve never even been in a fight,” was arrested last June when he responded to a Facebook post by London Eley, that read, “I will pay somebody a stack (slang for $1,000) to kill my baby father.”
Assistant District Attorney John O’Neill said Eley spoke with Bynum and gave him the address and description of her ex-beau Corey White.
But White’s relatives saw the Facebook solicitation and contacted authorities and Eley and Bynum were arrested before she could pay the money or he could carry out the killing.
Eley, 19, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy and was sentenced to five years probation.
White, 22, survived until August when he was gunned down on a Philadelphia street in what authorities say was a drug dispute.
Defense attorney Lopez T. Thompson urged Lynn to accept the plea agreement, citing the 11th-grader’s lack of a prior criminal record, his age and that he lives with his parent.
“What you did was amazingly serious,” Lynn told Bynum. “You tried to play God … The streets of our city are covered in blood every day by people who think that they are God.”