Trial for teen charged in brother's accidental shooting delayed again

April 21, 2011|By DON AINES |

HAGERSTOWN — For the second time this month, the trial of a teenager charged in connection with the accidental shooting of his brother has been delayed, in part because of another mixup over a witness.

On April 5, the Washington County Circuit Court trial of Marcus Deon Longus, 17, of 12842 Little Elliott Drive, was delayed because one of two witnesses with the same name had not been subpoenaed by the state. The case had also been assigned to a judge who had previously recused himself from hearing it.

Thursday’s trial was to have been held before Judge Donald E. Beachley but, following a bench conference, he announced that good cause had been found to grant a postponement. The case was rescheduled for May 2.

Beachley said one reason for the postponement was that another defendant was a “priority case because he has been held for quite some time.”

However, a prosecution witness who had been subpoenaed by the state was not transported to the courthouse from a juvenile facility.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson and Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa both said outside of the court that Fantaisa Rivera, Longus’ girlfriend at the time of the 2010 shooting, had not been brought to court.

On the morning of Sept. 27, 2010, Hagerstown police went to Longus’ apartment, where they found 2-year-old Mario Longus shot in the chest. The toddler apparently shot himself in the chest with a stolen handgun he found beneath a bed, according to the statement of application for charges.

Marcus Longus, who was 16 at the time, was charged as an adult with obstruction, making false statements, leaving a firearm accessible to a minor and other firearms offenses.

Rivera, 17, of Hagerstown, was also charged as an adult with several of the same offenses, but her case was later transferred to Juvenile Court.

Earlier this year, Rivera admitted to obstructing and hindering police by hiding the gun in a playground after the shooting and was ordered to be placed in a group home.

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