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Teenager who sold marijuana to athlete receives probation

May 30, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@ herald-mail.com

The former South Hagerstown High School student who admitted to selling marijuana to athlete Domonique Richmond told a judge Wednesday that he's a changed person.

The youth's actions hurt a lot of people, including himself, since he was prevented from playing sports following his arrest, he told Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley, who was sitting in juvenile court.

Beachley sentenced the 16-year-old Hagerstown male to probation during an appearance in juvenile court Wednesday.

After being arrested in March, the teenager was released to his parents' custody and expelled from school.

Since then, he has obeyed his parents' rules and worked hard around the house, his father told Beachley at a previous court appearance.

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"Things are going truly well. It's opened his eyes to reality," the teen-ager's father said Wednesday.

Beachley said the youth was taking responsibility for his actions and had been cooperative.

"What's done is done. You can't undo it but you can move on," Beachley said.

Earlier this month, the teen admitted to distributing drugs on school property. In exchange for the admission, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Steve Kessell agreed to drop the remaining charges of possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The youth was arrested after marijuana was found near Richmond, 18.

During an interview with police, the 16-year-old said he bought a $10 bag of marijuana, smoked some of it and took the rest to school.

He eventually sold the bag to Richmond for $10, Kessell said.

Richmond, who now attends the Evening High School, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Washington County District Judge Ralph France in April placed the charges against Richmond on the inactive docket, where they will remain provided he doesn't commit a crime within the next year.

In considering sentencing, Beachley said the 16-year-old and Richmond "should be treated the same. I don't see any material difference between them."

The 16-year-old's defense attorney, Jerome Joyce, said that since his client's arrest, he has submitted clean urinalysis tests and been cooperative.

This summer, the student will keep busy by attending the Washington County Sheriff's Department's Reality program, driver's education and summer school, in addition to cutting lawns and helping out at home, he said.

"He understands the gravity of what happened here," Joyce said.

Beachley said because of the student's clean background and efforts to change, he would sentence him to six months probation. He ordered that during the probation period the youth undergo counseling, complete a Washington County Health Department addictions program, abstain from drugs and obey his parents. He also must perform 20 hours of community service and work or stay in school.

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