Middle school boy found delinquent

May 26, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

A Clear Spring Middle School boy was found delinquent Wednesday after two classmates testified that he took a knife to school and threatened to "slice a teacher" who had taken adult magazines away from him.

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A psychiatric evaluation was ordered for the 13-year-old who a School Board official said drew swastikas on his arms, brought chains to class and often had gun and knife magazines in his possession.

A Maryland State Police officer testified in juvenile court Wednesday that the boy denied he threatened the teacher during an interview with him.

Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, however, said he believed the classmates who said the incident occurred April 22, two days after the Colorado school shootings in which 12 students and a teacher were killed by two teenagers.


State Police filed charges against the boy on April 23, but did not release the information to the public or press. The incident was not made public until Wednesday's juvenile court hearing.

The charges included threatening a school official, teacher Anthony J. Paci Jr., who testified that he confiscated two Penthouse magazines from the teenager on April 12.

The boy was disciplined for that incident, according to testimony.

His two classmates testified that about 10 days later, the boy showed them a knife in his bookbag and said he was going to "slice Mr. Paci" for taking the magazines.

Trooper Troy McDonough testified that in his interview, the youth yelled that other kids were picking on him. He initially said he had taken nothing to school but then admitted he took in a knife sheath, McDonough said.

"He denied saying he wanted to cut the teacher but he did say he wanted to hit him with a shovel or a baseball bat," McDonough said.

On the stand Wednesday, the boy denied making that statement to the trooper.

But the boy's mother testified she heard her son tell the trooper he wanted to hit the teacher with a shovel or a baseball bat.

McDowell said the case boiled down to credibility and he had no indication that the other two boys who testified had any reason to "put their heads together and come up with the same story."

The 13-year-old could be removed from his home until his 21st birthday, according to Maryland law.

McDowell ordered the psychiatric evaluation Wednesday, saying said he was worried about an earlier psychiatric report on the boy after he was charged in April that indicated the youth showed rage and anger toward those who criticize him.

He said it reminded him of stories he'd seen on TV, profiling the students involved in the Colorado rampage.

A disposition hearing will be scheduled within 30 days, after the results of the psychiatric evaluation from the Finan Center in Cumberland, Md., is completed.

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