According to investigators, Baldwin's death came after weeks of bullying. One of the defendants, a classmate, allegedly assaulted Baldwin at Morristown High School on March 6. The incident was captured on surveillance video. The defendant was suspended from school two days later.
"This case again underscores our need as a society to eradicate the bullying of our youth, as regrettable consequences such as this case are far too numerous to be anywhere near acceptable," Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said.
Authorities said the suspended student made numerous attempts to contact Baldwin to instruct him to tell school officials that the incident was a joke. The next day, Baldwin did tell the Dean of Students that the assault was a joke and the defendant was playing a prank on him.
On March 9, police say the defendant from the previous incident and two other teens met Baldwin at the Century 21 parking garage, where they threatened and robbed him, telling him it was punishment for the suspension over the March 6th incident.
The three teens were arrested two weeks later. Michael Conway, 19, was charged as an adult with making false statements to police. The other two defendants face robbery, theft, terroristic threats and related charges. They remain under house arrest, charged as juveniles.
Baldwin killed himself on March 28. More than 500 people turned out for his funeral. Baldwin was a champion bowler, and his family still displays his trophies in the window. He also loved skateboarding and animals.
The two students and Conway are not charged with bullying, but they are charged with crimes that under the state's new anti-bullying law fit the very definition.
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