Juvenile court briefs

March 17, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

Boy ordered placed in shelter care

After reading off a 13-year-old boy's juvenile record like a grocery list, Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, sitting in juvenile court, ordered that the boy, who admitted Wednesday to stealing candy and soda, be placed in shelter care.

"He was on probation for two separate cases and then committed a new act of theft," McDowell said before ordering the shelter home placement.

The Northern Middle School seventh-grader admitted to stealing a bag of Skittles and an orange soda on Dec. 24, 2004, from Giant Eagle on Hillcrest Road in Hagerstown.

A Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman said the boy has missed 13 days of school this year and has been tardy 14 times.


McDowell questioned why a violation of probation was not reported for the boy's first missed day of school. Attending school regularly was a condition of the boy's probation, McDowell said.

The boy's father said he did not realize his son had missed so many days of school this year.

The boy's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ben Thompson, said the boy has been enrolled in an after-school program to get help with homework three days a week.

McDowell said he would not adhere to the Department of Juvenile Services' recommendation that the boy remain on probation. He said the boy has been charged as a juvenile with trespassing, stealing a bicycle, assault, stealing a golf cart and other thefts.

Teen ordered placed in shelter care

A 17-year-old boy admitted in court Wednesday to stealing eye drops, shampoo and soap from a grocery store, as well as to possessing drug paraphernalia, and was ordered placed in shelter care.

Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, sitting in juvenile court, said, "There needs to be structure in your life that has obviously been lacking."

On Jan. 10 at about 2 p.m., the boy was seen at Weis Market on Eastern Boulevard stuffing several items, including "Visine, Pantene shampoo and Dove liquid soap" into his pockets, Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell said. He said that when the youth was confronted, he was found to have a needle and a metal pipe in his pockets, too. The groceries were valued at $19.56.

A Department of Juvenile Services representative told McDowell that the youth's parents allowed him to marry a woman more than 10 years older than him "to have some control" because he had been running away.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ben Thompson, said the youth's wife has moved out of his parents' house and, since then, the boy has "been doing very well."

A Washington County Health Department representative said that the boy has an alcohol problem. The boy has said he abuses prescription medication, but urine tests do not confirm those statements, the representative said.

"I've made some mistakes and I'm trying to learn from it," the boy told McDowell.

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