Juvenile court briefs

March 18, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

Boy sent to youth detention center

A 14-year-old boy being held at Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health System on a third-degree sex offense charge was ordered placed in a youth detention center Wednesday.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, decided two weeks ago that the boy could remain at Potomac Ridge even though it was discovered he had sexual contact with two other youths at the Rockville, Md., facility.

Beachley made the decision after hearing that security measures would keep the youth in confinement.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said Wednesday that the youth has since been caught accessing an animated pornography Web site and has slept in through therapy appointments.

"(The youth) cannot return to Potomac Ridge," she said.

Beachley agreed and ordered that the boy be sent to a youth detention center. "Obviously that kind of special attention didn't work," he said.

Boy detained until investigation done

A 13-year-old boy who violated probation by having sexual contact with his roommate at a shelter care facility was ordered Wednesday by Washington County Circuit Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, to be detained pending a pre-disposition investigation and psycho-sexual evaluation.

Neither the prosecution nor defense would comment after the boy's hearing about what charges had resulted in the youth being placed on probation.

Judge continues shoplifting case

The case against a 13-year-old girl who admitted in juvenile court Wednesday that she attempted to shoplift more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart in November was ordered to be continued by a Washington County Circuit Court judge, who said he wanted more information on the youth's progress at school and at home.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said that on the afternoon of Nov. 8, the girl, along with her stepfather, went down the Christmas aisle at the Hagerstown Wal-Mart and removed a reindeer from a large box. The box was then stuffed with $1,114. 33 worth of "Finding Nemo" DVDs, tools and other merchandise, Flores said.

The girl's mother, who had communicated with the stepfather on her cell phone from within the store, got into a fight with a store clerk after the items were discovered, she said. That fight sent both people to the hospital and led to the miscarriage of the mother's baby, she said.

Flores said the three had attempted to do the same thing at a Kmart in Harrisburg, Pa., and were caught. The mother and daughter have since moved to Florida, she said.

Flores said she's concerned that the group "commits a crime and then moves to the next state."

While the girl's defense attorney went over with the girl the rights she was giving up by admitting to the crime, the girl asked, "Can I say something? I didn't agree. I was forced."

Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, explained to the girl that the charge was that she conspired to commit a felony, which meant some agreement was made between the girl and her stepfather. The girl agreed.

Beachley ordered that Florida authorities check into the girl's living environment and school progress, with that information to be reported to Beachley before an April disposition, set to coincide with the mother's hearing related to the incident in Washington County Circuit Court.

"If everything checks out, I'm just gonna say to mom, number one, I commend you for getting up here, but there is some bad stuff going on," Beachley said to the girl's mother, who was crying in her seat. "Try to get her on a proper path rather than the path that you went down in Wal-Mart."

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