Robbery case will remain in adult court

October 16, 1997

An attempt to waive a 17-year-old armed robbery suspect back to juvenile court Tuesday failed in Washington County Circuit Court.

Sam Christopher Hacker, of Baltimore, was returned to the Washington County Detention Center to await trial in the Jan. 5 armed robbery of the Conococheague Grocery near Clear Spring.

Rodney Bulls, a Department of Juvenile Justice caseworker from Baltimore City, told Judge Fred Wright that Hacker has had problems in the past with inhalants, especially spray paint.

"It dulls comprehension and understanding, destroying brain cells,'' Bulls said, referring to Hacker's addiction.

For that reason, Hacker was seeking to remain in the juvenile system where he could receive treatment in a secure institutional setting.


Under questioning by Washington County State's Attorney Ken Long, Bulls acknowledged that Hacker had 10 previous juvenile charges including car thefts, assaults, and assaults with intent to rob.

Several charges of car theft are pending in both Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Wilma Tyler, Hacker's mother, testified she couldn't keep her son in school. He dropped out in the 10th grade.

Hacker testified he has been using marijuana, drinking beer and huffing spray paint daily before he was arrested.

Long put on no witnesses, arguing only that it was obvious that the juvenile system hadn't been able to change Hacker during its many contacts with him.

Wright said he was aware of the secure settings available in the juvenile system but added that Hacker's background didn't fit that picture.

The Herald-Mail Articles