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Juvenile admits assault

July 15, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

A 15-year-old admitted Wednesday in Washington County juvenile court to beating a 14-year-old in March by Valley Mall and was given probation on a suspended institutional placement disposition by a Circuit judge.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Steven Kessell said that on March 27, a 14-year-old boy reported to the Washington County Sheriff's Department that he was assaulted in the parking area of Valley Mall near Burger King.

The victim "was treated for lacerations to his head, bruises and swelling," he said, adding that one of the impressions on the youth's head "appeared to be from a shoeprint."

A Department of Juvenile Services representative said that the department recommended probation for the youth, but Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III questioned the department's analysis of the boy's actions.

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"Why shouldn't this punk-type action result in him being sent to a noncommunity residential program outside?" Wright asked.

The representative replied by saying that the youth had no prior involvement with the department.

The youth's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Musselman, said the fight was over a girl. He said the youth "knows that this could have killed somebody" and said that his client knows that if the adult who was with him at the time of the assault had done more damage, the youth would have been held accountable.

Wright ordered the youth to the commitment of the Department of Juvenile Services for institutional placement, but suspended that disposition and placed the youth on indefinite supervised probation with a series of provisions, including taking an anger-management class.

"I think the actions in this case were so senseless and punk - chicken - whatever you want to call it," Wright said.

He ordered that the youth pay more than $2,000 owed to the victim in medical bills within six months.

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