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18-year-old gets 6 years for starting Cullen Center melee

September 29, 2009

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- A Frederick County judge has sentenced an 18-year-old man to six years in prison for starting a melee at a state-run detention center that led to the escape of 14 juveniles last spring.

Michael Martin pleaded guilty Monday to escape and second-degree assault.

Prosecutors told the judge that Martin started the riot at the Victor Cullen Center after a staffer unplugged a phone because he went over his allotted time.

A second teen, 16-year-old Georges Duk, also pleaded guilty to escape Monday, saying he knew what he did was wrong. Duk was sentenced to 18 months.

Nine teens were charged as adults in the escape, but Martin's sentence is the harshest so far. Two other teens are awaiting trial.

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