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Teens plead guilty in BB case

July 03, 1997

Three teens appeared in two different courtrooms Wednesday, each pleading guilty to participating in a $10,000 BB gun shooting spree May 1 in Washington County.

John Kelly Smith, 18, of Hagerstown, was jailed without bond by Washington County District Court Judge R. Noel Spence after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of malicious destruction of property.

Sentencing was expected to be in September.

In Washington County Juvenile Court, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to five counts each of malicious destruction of property.

Each was ordered to pay $2,043 in restitution - one third of the amount not covered by insurance.

The 16-year-old was allowed to remain on community detention pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation ordered by Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

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The 17-year-old, who has a lengthy record of offenses and commitments, was returned to the Noyes Detention Center in Rockville, Md., pending sentencing.

At 1:30 a.m. on May 1, Hagerstown City Police were called to a home in the 1000 block of Security Road where a witness had seen a late-model maroon Chevrolet Corsica containing three males shooting at cars with a BB gun, according to Washington County State's Attorney Kenneth Long.

The witness, who also was a victim, agreed to ride around the neighborhood with police looking for the vehicle, but it wasn't found, Long said.

The ride produced evidence of many more victims of the shooting spree, Long said.

At 1:55 a.m., police stopped a car matching the description on Burhans Boulevard and found three males, a BB gun with scope and a box of pellets under the driver's seat, Long said.

At that point, police began questioning the trio separately, telling each youth in turn that the others had implicated him, Long said.

Eventually they confessed to more than 50 incidents involving vehicles and buildings, Long said. And they told police they "weren't finished," saying they were heading out to Virginia Avenue when they were pulled over.

The five cases to which the two juveniles pleaded guilty included Needy Furniture at 901 S. Potomac St., $386; a 1992 Volkswagen at 506 Lynnhaven Drive, $377; a 1993 Isuzu parked at 508 Lynnhaven Drive, $612; a 1979 Jeep Cherokee, $198; and a 1995 Plymouth parked at 739 Medway Road, $684.

The plea agreement called for restitution in all the cases, not just the ones that were admitted.

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