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Juvenile court briefs

March 10, 2005

Teen placed in home for punching student


A 16-year-old boy admitted Wednesday in juvenile court to punching a Smithsburg High School student in November 2004 after overhearing a discussion about money the student alleged he stole.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, ordered the boy to be placed at New Dominion School of Maryland, a therapeutic group home in Oldtown, Md.

A student had gone into a gym locker room and discovered money missing on Nov. 22, 2004, said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores. She said the 16-year-old boy was the only person in the room at the time of the alleged theft and saw the alleged victim talking about the incident with another student.

After confronting the alleged victim about his conversation, the 16-year-old boy "struck the victim two or three times with his fist," Flores said.

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She said that the boy had been ordered by the court to a community residential placement in October 2004, but ran away from that placement in January 2005.

The boy was found hiding in a closet at his mother's house, Flores said. She asked that the boy have limited contact with his mother.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Musselman, said, "He knows his involvement has brought him to this court."

Beachley told the boy: "You have to step up to the plate, here. You've got to put all that stuff that occurred in the past ... You've got to put all of that aside."

Beachley told the youth a cautionary tale about a 17-year-old boy who was sentenced Tuesday in adult court to serve 23 years in prison for carjacking and related offenses.

"This is not the route I think you want to go down," Beachley said.




Boy says he stole trading cards


A 13-year-old boy admitted Wednesday in juvenile court to stealing trading cards from Wal-Mart in November.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, placed the youth on indefinite supervised probation.

On Nov. 7, 2004, the boy and another person were seen passing registers at Wal-Mart without paying for trading cards, said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores.

She said that the cards the boy stole were valued at $251.78. They could not be resold because they had been removed from their packaging, she said.

A Washington County Public Schools representative said that the boy tests well and maintains a B average.

"The substance of that is that he can do a lot better," Beachley said to the representative. She concurred.

Beachley noted that it was the boy's first time in juvenile court. "Let's make it your last time," he said.

He ordered that restitution be paid by Sept. 1.




Teen on probation for property destruction


A 17-year-old girl who admitted to malicious destruction of property on Wednesday in juvenile court was ordered placed on indefinite supervised probation.

The girl was arguing with her sister on Jan. 5, grabbed a glass, yelled, "This is for you (expletive)" at her mother and "threw the glass against the wall," said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, said, after looking over the girl's file, "I was wondering why this case was here, but obviously there's been other contact."

Flores said that the girl was receiving treatment at the Jackson Unit, a substance abuse treatment facility.

The girl's mother told Beachley that she had a drug abuse problem, but has been clean for 14 years. The girl was receiving treatment for cocaine addiction, she said.

The mother said, "The reason I called police is it was a couple of days before she was supposed to go to the Jackson Unit."

She said that now her daughter "is not toxic. She's clean."

- Pepper Ballard

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