Juvenile court briefs

April 14, 2005

Girl admits to having crack paraphernalia

A 17-year-old girl who is about five months pregnant with her second child admitted Wednesday morning in Washington County juvenile court to possessing crack paraphernalia in December 2004.

The girl was found "sleeping, slumped" in a Four State Transportation taxi on Dec. 5 at 4:27 a.m. at the corner of South Mulberry and Ray streets, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said. Police broke a capsule under the girl's nose to try to revive her, but she "shook her head and went back into an unresponsive state," Flores said.

While police were trying to find identification for the girl, they found a "long, thin cylinder type tube" which had burnt residue at each end, in her jacket pocket. It was determined to be a crack pipe, Flores said.

When the girl was taken to the hospital, she said she had ingested crack and ecstasy, Flores said.


Flores told Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, that the Jackson Unit, a substance abuse treatment facility, will not take the girl because she has not seen an obstetrician regarding her pregnancy, which the girl learned about in January.

The girl's attorney, Kelly Cromer, said the girl is about five months pregnant.

"She recognizes that she does have a problem," Cromer said.

The girl told Beachley that her first child, a girl, is in foster care.

"Because you can't care for her?" Beachley asked the girl in a concerned tone.

She nodded.

"You're life is out of control. You're using drugs. You're pregnant," Beachley told the girl, who then brought her hands to her face and sobbed.

"Is this the way you want to live your life?" he asked her.

She shook her head, still crying.

"You have to be committed to recovery," Beachley told the girl.

She nodded her head.

The girl's case was recalled Wednesday afternoon due to problems placing the pregnant girl in a facility ordered Wednesday morning, Cromer said. She was ordered to live with her mother on community detention pending placement at a substance abuse treatment facility in Sykesville, Md., Cromer said.

Boy found delinquent in assault incident

A 17-year-old Sharpsburg boy was found delinquent during a hearing Wednesday in Washington County juvenile court in committing a second-degree assault on his mother's fianc in February.

Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, ruled that there was sufficient evidence that the boy hit his mother's fianc on Feb. 27 following an argument regarding the boy's phone use. The boy pleaded not involved, the juvenile equivalent of not guilty.

The boy testified that he was talking on the phone with a girlfriend when his mother's fiancé confronted him about using the phone. The mother's fiancé testified that the boy was not to be on the phone so he asked him to hang up, but when the boy didn't comply, he grabbed the phone from his hand. The boy testified that he then threatened the man.

"He egged me on and said, 'What's up big boy?'" the boy testified. "I knew what he wanted me to do."

His mother's fiancé, who lives with the boy, his mother and grandmother in Sharpsburg, said the boy "pushed me away from him" after he grabbed the phone from him. The man testified that the boy "pushed me up against a wall with his left hand and started punching me with his right hand."

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores asked the boy on cross-examination, "Why didn't you just give him the phone as he asked?"

The boy said, "He lost respect for me."

The boy's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ben Thompson, said in his closing argument, "A lack of respect doesn't equal assault."

Flores said in her closing argument, "There's no self-defense claim. He could have left and he chose not to."

Beachley was shown a photograph of the man's face during the man's testimony, which was taken by police about 40 minutes after the incident. The man testified he got 12 stitches because of the assault.

After his ruling of delinquency, Beachley ordered that the boy's disposition be delayed pending a predisposition investigation. He ordered that the boy be detained until his disposition.

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