Juvenile court briefs

May 04, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

Boy enters Alford plea in January incident

A 16-year-old boy entered an Alford plea Wednesday in Washington County juvenile court to malicious destruction of property in connection with charges he ransacked a home in January.

Disposition was delayed for the youth by Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr., sitting in juvenile court.

Under an Alford plea, a respondent does not admit involvement, but admits that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

On Jan. 24, the boy reportedly was drunk and asking for a fight in the 200 block of Fairground Avenue when he went inside a home and "destroyed everything inside of it," Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell said.

When Hagerstown Police Department officers arrived at the house, they found "several" lamps broken, a kitchen hutch on the floor and a glass coffee table misplaced, apparently thrown around, Kessell said.


"Steak knives were thrown into the linoleum and were sticking straight up on the floor," he said.

The boy's blood alcohol content was recorded at .17, more than twice the legal limit.

Disposition was delayed in part so the boy could complete a mental health evaluation Wednesday afternoon and so a predisposition investigation into the boy's background could be completed.

The boy was ordered to remain on community detention pending a June disposition.

Teen admits to counts in December accident

A 17-year-old Pennsylvania boy admitted Wednesday in Washington County juvenile court to speeding and negligent driving in connection with a December 2005 accident.

The boy was spotted by a Maryland State Police trooper driving a red Acura 86 mph in a 50-mph zone on eastbound Md. 418, west of Md. 64 near Leitersburg, on Dec. 9, Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell said.

The trooper pursued the car, activating his lights and sirens, but the boy didn't stop and continued through an "S" curve east of Breezy Acres Road, at which point the car "began to slide and skidded sideways through a pasture," knocking over fence posts and traveling about 300 feet into a field, Kessell said.

Once in the field, the driver and two passengers got out of the car, at which point the trooper approached them, Kessell said.

"It was a very fortunate incident for (the boy) and his passengers," Kessell said. "It could have been a lot more serious."

The boy's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Brian Hutchison, said that the charges were the first contact the boy has had with the Department of Juvenile Services. He said the boy's car was totaled as a result of the accident. The boy had to pay for towing and had to buy a new car, Hutchison said.

Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr., sitting in juvenile court, told the boy that he's not invincible.

"Thirty-six miles over the speed limit on that road is insane behavior on your part," he said. "You're incredibly lucky."

Long ordered the boy to pay $200 in fines and placed him on supervised probation until his 18th birthday, transferring the supervision to Pennsylvania.

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