Young football prospect avoids time in adult prison after plea deal

Judge offers advice for teen who was once destined for Penn State

Kristen Johanson
May 23, 2018 - 5:17 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The one-time star football player at Imhotep Institute Charter High School who was destined for Penn State University has struck a plea deal with the city prosecutor that would give him a second chance.  

Isheem Young was 17 at the time when a group of men armed with guns robbed a South Philly Wawa last July. Young was charged with robbery, conspiracy and gun offenses, but he’s now avoided up to 45 years in an adult prison after agreeing to plead guilty in juvenile court.

He will likely get up to a year in a juvenile detention center. 

"The opportunities that he has to be returned to and be held accountable in juvenile court are opportunities that many young men who've committed similar crimes with similar backgrounds and histories have been given," said prosecutor Paul Goldman.

The judge had strong words for Young, saying he almost threw away his life for nothing — and likened it to football.  

"The judge made the best analogy. He’s on the field right now, and the ball is in his hands and at this point," reiterated his defense attorney Rich Klineburger. "He’s going to have to avoid some tackles and he’s going to have to struggle a little bit, but if there’s a young man that I believe can complete this goal, it’s Mr. Young."

Young could spend nine to 12 months in juvenile court, but would also be able to attend college at the same time.  

"It’s up to him if he wants to fumble or keep moving forward toward a touchdown," Klineburger said.

Young will be under home detention until his juvenile court hearing. He’s scheduled to graduate from high school next month.