Disbelief over elder teen’s charges
The Michael McDonough his neighbors know is looking forward to his senior year at Sachem High School North and getting his driver’s license, has a steady girlfriend, and is an only child who is very close to his parents.
Terry Devine and her son, Sean, neighbors of the family in Holbrook, were among those expressing bewilderment yesterday at McDonough’s alleged involvement in a violent plot against students and teachers at Connetquot High School.
“I don’t believe at all, in my heart, that boy is capable – he wouldn’t hurt a fly, let alone a human being,” said Terry Devine, 52, who said she has known McDonough, 17, for seven years.
Added Sean Devine, 22: “A kid like that has a job, a girlfriend, graduating school soon. Why would he go and ruin his future like that?”
It wasn’t clear how McDonough knew the 15-year-old who police say was the mastermind of the alleged conspiracy. Both worked at a McDonald’s restaurant in Bohemia, but they also live at mobile home parks that are near one another.
The two were charged with fifth-degree conspiracy to purchase guns and an explosive powder in the alleged scheme; the 15-year-old is charged as a juvenile. If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, each faces up to 1 year in a correctional facility.
McDonough remained in Suffolk County jail late yesterday, held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail. He is due back in First District Court in Central Islip tomorrow.
Terry Devine expressed concern for the teenager’s future. “Where will he complete his high school education?” she said.
The family has faced other challenges recently, Devine said. McDonough’s father underwent chemotherapy treatment in the spring, causing him to miss work.
Neighbors said the 15-year-old and his family were known to care for and routinely interact with senior citizens in their keep-to-yourself neighborhood.
They said they didn’t know much about the Connetquot High student but described him as a normal, well-behaved teenager.