Teens sentenced in BB spree

August 08, 1997


Staff Writer

The outcome was very different Wednesday in Washington County Juvenile Court for two teens who admitted participating in a $10,000 BB gun shooting spree May 1.

A 17-year-old Hagerstown boy made an impassioned plea for forgiveness, saying he wanted to write to all the victims and apologize.

But his prior record, alcohol problems and "West End Boys'' gang activity prompted Judge John H. McDowell to commit him to a youth center instead.


"You're not ready to go home yet," McDowell said.

On the other hand, the 16-year-old co-defendant has now earned his diploma, is working two jobs and has been attending addictions counseling, McDowell learned Wednesday.

That youth was allowed to remain home on supervised probation.

Both pleaded guilty to five counts each of malicious destruction of property July 2. Each was ordered to pay $2,043 in restitution - one third of the amount not covered by insurance.

The adult, 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 July 2.

Smith's sentencing was expected to be in September.

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 police reports.

The witness, who also was a victim, agreed to ride around the neighborhood with police looking for the vehicle, but it wasn't found, police reports said. The ride produced evidence of many more victims of the shooting spree.

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, police reports said.

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

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

The Herald-Mail Articles