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Extension granted in Danielle Black's case

June 03, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A Washington County Circuit Court judge has granted an extension in the case of a 15-year-old girl accused of asking a friend to kill her father.

Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael on Wednesday asked a judge to allow the case of Danielle Black to extend beyond 180 days of the filing date.

Defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. In Maryland, that means a defendant has a right to be tried within 180 days after an initial appearance, unless that right is waived.

The charge against Black was filed Dec. 22, 2008, making June 20 the 180-day mark by which she should have been tried.

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Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ruled Wednesday the case would be allowed to extend beyond the 180-day point because those involved didn't know until May 28 that it would be heard in adult court instead of juvenile court.

In addition, the court schedule is full until June 20, he said.

McDowell said, however, he wants the case to be heard as quickly as possible because of Black's age.

Black is charged with solicitation of first-degree murder in the death of her father. A Washington County Circuit Court judge ruled last week she will stand trial in adult court.

The body of Billy Lee Black, 47, was found the morning of Oct. 31, 2008, in a pool of blood behind a house at 210 James St. in Hagerstown's West End.

Alec Scott Eger, 20, of 15 Berner Ave., is charged with first-degree murder and felony murder in Black's death. Eger is not the person prosecutors allege Black asked to kill her father.

Court records available online indicate Black is scheduled to be in court again June 18 for a pretrial hearing.

-- Erin Julius

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