Youth, 16, ordered placed in home after drug arrest

February 26, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

A 16-year-old boy who pleaded guilty Wednesday to drug distribution was ordered placed in a noncommunity residential home.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, ordered the placement.

Assistant county State's Attorney Michelle Flores said the youth took crack cocaine to a police informant Nov. 11 about 11 p.m. and was charged with distribution. After the youth's arrest, nine individually wrapped pieces of suspected crack cocaine were found in a hidden pants pocket, Flores said.

Beachley asked the youth if he knew the maximum sentence he could get as an adult on a distribution of a controlled dangerous substance charge.

"Twenty years in the Division of Correction," Beachley told him. "Do you want to spend your late teens to early 20s in the Division of Correction?"


"No sir," the youth replied.

"I didn't think so," Beachley said.

The youth also was in court Wednesday on a charge that he violated probation by not attending school regularly. Beachley told the youth the distribution charge was a violation of his probation.

Beachley said he would rather see the youth placed for a long time in a noncommunity residential home than placed in a detention center.

"I wanna do what's best for him in the long run and not just look at the punitive aspects," he said.

- Pepper Ballard

Probation given on weapons charge

After commending a 15-year-old's grandmother for pulling into a police station upon seeing her grandson pull out a knife in the car, Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, placed the youth on indefinite supervised probation.

The youth pleaded guilty to possessing a deadly weapon.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said the boy, his grandmother and his mother were traveling on Burhans Boulevard on Nov. 16 when the boy pulled out a 4 1/2-inch butterfly knife.

The grandmother said she decided to pull into the Hagerstown Police Department lot. When she did, the boy fled from the car, saying he was on probation and he'd be locked up if police caught him, Flores said.

The boy's father said that since November his son has "really leveled out and turned it around."

After a conversation with the boy's mother, Beachley ordered as a condition of probation that the boy have contact with his mother only through family counseling.

"You've got to work through those problems at some point," Beachley said to the mother.

- Pepper Ballard

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