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Judge sends teen to juvenile boot camp

December 04, 1996

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A 17-year-old Hagerstown boy may become the first from Washington County to "enroll'' in the new Challenge Military Youth Corps.

Last month, the youth admitted he was involved in a Feb. 1 robbery of a man on Selema Drive - a robbery in which he displayed a handgun in his waistband.

Detained since then at the Noyes Center in Rockville, he was back before Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell Wednesday for final disposition.

On the one hand, everyone agreed the crime was very serious.

But the boy's Big Brother told McDowell that the boy is a great kid who made some bad decisions while he was with some "bad folks."

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If he is accepted into the boot camp style program, it will be for between five to nine months, according to a Department of Juvenile Services spokesman.

Sponsored by the Maryland National Guard, the program for male and female teens between 16 to 18 is located at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Until then, he will be on community detention in his grandmother's home.

"I let a lot of people down,'' the boy said. "I did it and I want to move on.''

Assistant State's Attorney Duane Gigeous said in November the victim was on his way to his car when the teen and others approached him.

The victim, seeing the gun, gave the youth $30. The teen said the weapon was a BB gun.

Originally charged as an adult, the boy was referred back to juvenile court earlier in the fall.

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