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Juvenile court brief

March 12, 2004

Youth gets probation in safety pin attacks


A Washington County Circuit Court judge questioned in juvenile court Wednesday why charges that an 11-year-old boy poked his classmates with a straightened safety pin and kicked another student were not handled by the county school system.

After rushing Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Steven Kessell through the statement of charges on the two cases, Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, sitting in juvenile court, said, "This doesn't seem to come up to the level of other matters that are of interest to court that are criminal in nature."

Kessell said that the Department of Juvenile Services attempted to resolve the allegations initially, but a victim appealed the charges to the state's attorney's office.

He said the youth has an "attitude problem."

The boy admitted to the second-degree assault charges.

Two rows of people, many of them children, filled the courthouse for the boy's disposition.

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A county school system spokeswoman said that the boy started at E. Russell Hicks Middle School as a sixth-grader this year but since has transferred to Northern Middle School. She said he has 24 absences, has little interest in learning and has been given either in-school or out-of-school suspension six times since the start of the school year.

Wright ordered the boy placed on indefinite supervised probation, which includes a 7 p.m. curfew.

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