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Watauga teen gets 8 years in pot-smoking toddlers case

FORT WORTH -- One of the teens caught on video teaching his toddler nephews to smoke marijuana has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Demetris McCoy, 18, reached an agreement with prosecutors on Thursday afternoon and pleaded guilty to two charges of injury to a child/causing bodily injury. In exchange for the eight-year sentence, McCoy must also testify against his co-defendant, Vanswan Polty, officials said.

If McCoy had gone to trial and been convicted, he would have faced a maximum of 10 years in prison.

"I think Mr. McCoy recognized that a Tarrant County jury was not going to stand for his behavior and he did the proper thing by taking responsibility for his actions," said prosecutor Darrell Davila, who handled the case with Leticia Martinez.

McCoy, who was represented by defense attorney Ruben Gonzalez Jr., also pleaded to two charges of burglary of a habitation and received eight years in each of those cases, according to computerized court records. All the sentences will run at the same time.

McCoy and Polty were arrested in February 2007 after police found the video while executing a search warrant at the Watauga home of McCoy's grandmother. They were investigating burglaries that McCoy and Polty are suspected of committing.

The video shows Polty and McCoy coaxing McCoy's nephews to smoke marijuana. The boys, who were then 2 and 4 years old, had traces of marijuana and cocaine in their systems.

Polty, 19, remains in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial. He faces two charges of injury to a child, three charges of burglary of a habitation and one charge of failing to identify himself to a peace officer.

Relatives have said that the children's mother was shocked about the incident and was asleep in another room in the Watauga home, which she shared with her children, grandmother and McCoy at the time. Russell and the children's great-grandmother were not charged in the crime.

Child Protective Service removed the children from the home shortly after McCoy's arrest and sent them to live with foster parents.

This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.