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Youth charged in robbery being held in adult jail cell

May 28, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

The case against a 17-year-old Hagerstown youth who was charged as an adult in connection with a November armed robbery at Black Steer Steakhouse was transferred to juvenile court Thursday, but the youth could not be transferred out of an adult jail cell Thursday night.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, at a Thursday hearing, ordered that the case against the youth be sent to juvenile court. After discussion among Wright, the youth's attorney, Wiley Rutledge, and Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr., the judge ordered that the youth be sent to Western Maryland Children's Center, a new juvenile facility south of Hagerstown, pending his disposition.

A Department of Juvenile Services representative had said she thought there was one bed available out of the 12 in use at the 24-bed facility. But a court deputy called the juvenile facility and returned to say there were no beds available.

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Wright ordered that the youth be sent back to the Washington County Detention Center, where he has been held since Nov. 11 pending the outcome of an unrelated juvenile detention hearing scheduled for this morning. Wright said he would wait to see if a youth scheduled for that hearing would be released from the juvenile facility, opening up a bed.

The Department of Juvenile Services representative said it would be easier for her department to work with the youth's case if he were at the Hagerstown detention facility instead of at The Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center in Montgomery County, Md.

Wright called county Juvenile Service supervisor Dennis Davis into the courtroom to see if he could get the youth into the local juvenile facility.

"Maybe we could work with the facility to transfer the most appropriate youth to Noyes," Davis said.

According to charging documents, on Nov. 7 at about 7:30 p.m., a youth approached two people coming out of Black Steer Restaurant at 18203 Mason Dixon Road north of Hagerstown, displayed a handgun and demanded money.

The victims told the robber they had no money, but the robber got in front of their vehicle, court documents say. The woman tried to throw the car into reverse, but the robber began to shoot at the car, leaving two small dents on the passenger side door from the pellets, charging documents allege.

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