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Juvenile accused of assaulting brother is allowed to go home

January 03, 2002

Juvenile accused of assaulting brother is allowed to go home



By MARLO BARNHART
marlob@herald-mail.com


After a few hours in a juvenile holdover cell Wednesday morning, a 10-year-old boy accused of threatening his younger brother with a knife last October was allowed to return home with his mother.

"How did it feel to get locked up?" Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley asked.

"It was really boring," the youngster told the judge.

Postponing disposition for second-degree assault, Beachley warned the boy to cooperate at home, at school and with juvenile authorities in the meantime. He will be required to wear an electronic anklet during that period.

The Oct. 12 episode on the Frederick Manor playground began as a dispute over a bicycle, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said.

Hagerstown City Police were called to the 600 block of Hayes Avenue at 9:43 p.m. for a report of one juvenile trying to stab another. When the officers arrived, they found the 10-year-old straddling his 7-year-old brother on the playground.

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"He was trying to stab the younger boy," Flores said. "His mother got the knife away him without any trouble."

Beachley wanted to know where the boy got the knife.

"It's one thing if it was a butter knife, another if it was a switchblade," he said.

The mother told Beachley it was a folding pocket knife that her son had gotten from a friend. The knife was turned over to police.

Defense attorney Brian Hutchison said the younger sibling had the 10-year-old's bike that day and wouldn't stop riding it.

"He chased his brother and straddled him but said he wasn't going to use the knife - he just wanted to make a point," Hutchison said. "He knows he was wrong."

Noting that the 10-year-old boy is on "heavy-duty" medications for depression and attention deficit disorder, Beachley learned Wednesday that since the incident the boy has been attending school at Cedar Ridge Children's Home near Williamsport.

A team meeting at his former school resulted in a recommendation for the Cedar Ridge placement in October because the boy was deemed to be out of control. That placement is expected to continue through the end of this school term, juvenile authorities said Wednesday in court.

Beachley ordered a psychological evaluation of the boy before rendering judgment in the case.

"I want to think about this ... it's a difficult case and in the meantime, I want you in custody for a while," Beachley said.

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