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Teen sent to facility after admitting to New Year's assault

February 17, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A 15-year-old boy Wednesday admitted in juvenile court to a New Year's assault after a judge determined that his case would not be sent to adult court.

Upon the youth's admission, Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, sitting in juvenile court, ordered that the boy be placed at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School, a noncommunity residential placement facility outside Baltimore.

"It is only because of your age and the desire of this court to implement what might be available through the Department of Juvenile Services to modify your behavior that this court is keeping its jurisdiction here rather than waiving its jurisdiction to adult court, which is also mean," Wright told the youth.

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On Jan. 1, shortly after 2 a.m., a man was found stabbed in the shoulder, "covered and soaked with blood" after Hagerstown Police Department officers responded to the 600 block of George Street for a reported fight in progress, said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores.

It was determined that the 15-year-old boy, who had previously been found delinquent for robbing a handicapped person, was the man's attacker, she said.

During the part of the hearing Wednesday about Flores' request that the youth's case be sent to adult court, a Department of Juvenile Services representative testified that there are some services available for the youth in the juvenile system, but the options are limited because of his violent record and his health issues, including narcolepsy and scoliosis.

Melissa Lewis, a social worker with the juvenile client services division of the state office of the public defender, briefly testified about the differences between substance abuse treatment offered to adults and juveniles.

Wright cut the testimony short, saying he didn't care about the youth's substance abuse problems.

He said that he was mainly concerned about modifying the youth's behavior.

Wright later explained to the youth the differences between juvenile court and adult court. He told the youth that if he were tried as an adult, he would be facing 15 years in prison.

"If I would have done what the state wanted and waived jurisdiction, neither I nor any other judge would care about substance abuse, about 'the devil made me do it,' about anything at all. Hypothetically, if you had gone before the court as an adult you would be going to jail or prison, most likely to prison," he said.

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