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Teen requests trial in assault case

July 14, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A Hancock teen on Wednesday requested a trial in a case in which he and his father were charged in connection with a scuffle inside Washington County Circuit Court in April.

The boy's father allegedly swung his fists at two Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies after being ordered to be removed from an April 14 Department of Social Services hearing. The boy then allegedly jumped into the fray.

The teen, who was 15 at the time of the incident, was charged with second-degree assault and resisting arrest.

In a juvenile court proceeding Wednesday, held in Washington County Circuit Court, the boy was offered the opportunity to enter an admission - the equivalent of a guilty plea in adult court - but asked his attorney to proceed to trial.

The boy's attorney, Assistant Washington County Public Defender Stephen Musselman, then asked if Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, who presided over Wednesday's hearing, would recuse himself from the trial.

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Beachley agreed not to hear the trial because the victims in the case are deputies who work regularly in the court.

Beachley then asked the prosecution and defense attorneys to begin working with the court to schedule a different judge, who likely would come from outside Washington County.

The boy's father, whose case is being handled in adult court, has requested a jury trial.

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