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Youths placed on probation for breaking picture window

July 15, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

Three boys were given indefinite supervised probation Wednesday by a Washington County Circuit judge after they admitted in juvenile court to throwing rocks through a picture window in March.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Steven Kessell said that on March 31, at about 9:30 a.m., a woman living in the 800 block of Forrest Drive in Hagerstown reported that two rocks had been thrown through a picture window at her home. He said that through a Hagerstown Police Department investigation, it was learned that three youths threw rocks through her window because of "a problem they had with her son."

Kessell said, "All three were there. There were two rocks, three boys and whoever you were talking to said that the other two threw the rocks."

Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, sitting in juvenile court, asked each of the boys, ages 12, 15 and 16, why they felt the need to throw rocks through the window.

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The first boy to admit malicious destruction of property in the incident - the 15-year-old - at first responded that he didn't know why he threw the rocks.

Wright asked the youth if he had some sort of a "psychological problem" that prevented him from understanding "why you open a door or why you take a step or why you throw rocks through a window?"

The boy mumbled an inaudible response.

"Accept responsibility for what you do in life," Wright said, addressing the youth.

During the 16-year-old's disposition, the homeowner addressed Wright, saying that the boy returned to his home with eight other youths a few days after the rocks had been thrown. Wright ordered the 16-year-old to do 30 hours of community service in addition to supervised probation because he was "the older one and more responsible."

Each of the boys was ordered to pay $300 in restitution to the homeowners.

Wright ordered the younger boys to each write a letter of apology to the victims, but asked the 16-year-old if he could turn around and say something to the victims, who were sitting in the back row of the courtroom.

The youth turned his head to the side, faced the family and blurted "sorry" before quickly turning to face Wright, who said he didn't notice the apology.

The youth turned around again in the same manner and the homeowners told Wright that the boy apologized.

As the boy was walking away from the defendant's chair, Wright smiled and said, "Good luck to you. The ball's in your court, son."

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