Juvenile court briefs

December 01, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

15-year-old boy admits to felony theft

A 15-year-old boy admitted to felony theft on Wednesday in Washington County juvenile court after stealing items from a car in August, a crime in which his mother is an alleged accomplice.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, sitting in juvenile court, said, upon announcing the boy's disposition - the juvenile equivalent of a sentence, "You will not return home with your mother."

McDowell placed the boy in shelter care pending placement in a Department of Juvenile Services special program.

The boy helped steal items, including two pool cues and a cell phone, from a Buick that was parked outside Your Country Store, at 17035 Fairview Road, on Aug. 14, Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said.

Flores said that the boy had entered the store with a group of people, including his mother, but then went back outside to steal the items, an act that was caught on video surveillance.


The mother went back to the store a few days later and was recognized by clerks there. When clerks began talking about the store's new security system, she asked, "What did those boys do now?" Flores said.

The mother took the stolen items back to the store, but told the clerks that the money must have been spent, Flores said. The last time a Washington County Sheriff's Department deputy went to the woman's house to investigate, he found a "for sale" sign on the house, Flores said.

"This is the second time he's committed an offense with his mother," Flores said.

Flores said that although the family plans to move to Florida, she didn't want the boy to be placed with his family because his mother is a bad influence, she said.

McDowell said that if he was the judge in the mother's case, "She would be in jail for making him delinquent, for allowing him to become involved in these crimes."

Teen won't be tried as adult in burglary

A prosecutor in Washington County juvenile court on Wednesday withdrew a request that a 16-year-old boy be tried as an adult in connection with charges he participated in an August home invasion in Hagers-town's West End.

After Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell withdrew the request, the boy, who has four adult co-defendants, admitted to conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary for the Aug. 26 incident in the 200 block of Buena Vista Avenue.

The boy has been held at the Western Maryland Children's Center, a juvenile detention facility, for more than 90 days, Kessell said.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, sitting in juvenile court, questioned why the Department of Juvenile Services recommended that the boy be placed in a special program, considering his lengthy juvenile record.

"Why shouldn't I consider him for institutional placement?" he asked.

After the boy spoke about his desire to learn to be a leader and not a follower, McDowell said the boy seemed intelligent, but needed some direction.

McDowell placed the boy in a special program, but ordered that the youth remain detained until he is taken to the program.

"If you don't straighten your life out now, for the rest of your life, you'll allow other people to draw you into their problems," McDowell said. "... You've got to use your brains and mind for the betterment of yourself and not be led down the path ..."

Kessell said police responded to the Buena Vista Avenue residence about 10 p.m. after reports were made that the home was being invaded and that there were "possible shots fired."

Two people at the residence answered their doorbell, only to find five males outside their door, Kessell said.

The group "pushed their way into the residence ... Once there, (the two residents) were ordered to the ground at gunpoint," Kessell said.

He said a "gun discharged when they tried to get in." When police arrived, the group had left, but police discovered a pair of New Balance sneakers, a Chicago White Sox hat and $30 was stolen. A lookout was made for a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier, in which the group allegedly made their escape, he said. It later was found, he said.

The boy, when interviewed later, "acknowledged he was aware of a beef or something between the victims and one defendant," Kessell said.

The boy said the others in the group went "into the home and committed the robbery," Kessell said.

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