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Daughter charged as adult in father's death

December 22, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A 15-year-old Hagerstown girl who had been charged as a juvenile in her father's death now faces a criminal charge as an adult, and court documents show that she wrote poetry hinting at her father's fate.

Danielle Black, who had been charged as a juvenile with solicitation of first-degree murder in connection with Billy Lee Black's death, now faces the same charge in adult court.

Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong on Friday filed an information charging that Danielle Black "did counsel entice, or induce" a juvenile male to commit the murder of Billy Lee Black. Prosecutors on Monday dropped the juvenile charge.

Conviction on a solicitation of first-degree murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley on Monday ordered that Danielle Black be held without bond in a juvenile facility in Rockville, Md. He also ordered the Washington County Department of Juvenile Services to complete a report about Black, her family and background.

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Billy Lee Black's body was found the morning of Oct. 31 in a pool of blood behind a house at 210 James St. in Hagerstown's West End.

Alec Scott Eger, 19, of 15 Berner Ave., is charged with first-degree murder and felony murder in the death of Black, 47, of Church Street.

Police have described Eger as a friend of Danielle Black. Eger is not the person prosecutors allege was solicited for murder, Assistant State's Attorney John Dunlap has said.

A juvenile had told police that Danielle Black had asked him to kill her father, according to an affidavit of probable cause signed by Hagerstown Detective Christopher Kayser. A juvenile witness said Danielle Black complained that her father physically abused her, according to the affidavit.

Black's wife, Danielle Black's stepmother, gave police writings and journal entries she found in the girl's bedroom, the affidavit shows.

The affidavit says that among the writings is, "What appears to be a poem to her father (Billy Black) and contains the passage 'You said you would never do it again; this is good news for you; I can finally call off my people; so you don't have to die; just understand if you do it again; you won't have a life to live; your days would be numbered; your ass would be gone.'"

Kayser in the affidavit mentioned a poem he alleged was written by Danielle Black. It contains the passage, "Your time is now up; I promise it won't hurt much; I'll have a smile on my face."

Danielle Black had attended South Hagerstown High School until her father's death, at which time her mother transferred her to Williamsport High School, defense attorney Mary Drawbaugh said in court.

Black appeared in court Monday wearing a white hoodie with her black hair tied back. Her mother and aunt were in the back of the courtroom, Drawbaugh said. As Black was being led out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies, one of the women called out, "I love you Danielle."

Black is keeping up with her schoolwork while she is being held, her attorney said.

Drawbaugh, a Frederick, Md., attorney, is representing Black as a panel attorney through the Office of the Public Defender.

"She is very saddened by her father's death," Drawbaugh said when questioned by a member of the media after Monday's hearing.

Hagerstown Police have described what they think happened the morning Black was killed.

Eger confronted Black on Oct. 31 about 5:30 a.m. as Black was leaving his house to go to work, Hagerstown Police Sgt. Paul Kifer has said.

Kifer said Eger accused Black of physically abusing his 15-year-old daughter, whom Kifer described as a friend of Eger. Police have not confirmed any allegations of abuse.

A fight ensued and Black was stabbed "multiple times about the head and neck," police said. Afterward, Black's body was dragged to a spot near his truck and his wallet was taken, police said.

Eger also was charged with robbery, first- and second-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a weapon to cause injury and theft.

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