Sharpsburg teen charged as adult in fatal crash

Jorden R. Cruz-Shiring is charged with negligent vehicular manslaughter

September 29, 2011|By DON AINES |

A Sharpsburg teenager has been charged as an adult with negligent vehicular manslaughter in the December 2010 death of another teen in a single-vehicle crash.

The Washington County State's Attorney's Office filed criminal informations on Sept. 2 against Jorden R. Cruz-Shiring, 17, of 5015 General Branch Court, for the Dec. 22 death of Reed A. Cantler, 14, also of Sharpsburg, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

In addition to the felony count of negligent manslaughter, Cruz-Shiring is charged with reckless driving, negligent driving, high risk driving by a minor holding a provisional license, driving a vehicle in excess of reasonable speed, failure to control a vehicle to avoid collision and failure to reduce speed at the crest of a grade, court records said.

The crash occurred at about 3:50 p.m. as Reed and two other teenagers were riding in a sport utility vehicle driven by Cruz-Shiring, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said at the time of the accident.

The sport utility vehicle was going south on Geeting Road near Sharpsburg when Cruz-Shiring lost control. The vehicle struck several fence posts and two trees off the right side of the road, the sheriff's office said.

Cantler, who was in the right rear passenger seat, was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff's office said. Cruz-Shiring was discharged from the Meritus Medical Center emergency room later that day.

The other two passengers from Sharpsburg, Aaron Edward Cantler and Joshua Mark Grim, who were both 16 at the time, were also taken to the emergency room, the sheriff's office said.

Cruz-Shiring was scheduled for his initial appearance on the charges in county Circuit Court on Thursday. Court records showed that an attorney for Cruz-Shiring had filed motions for discovery and suppression of any statements or evidence which might have been obtained illegally, but listed no specifics.

The maximum penalty for vehicular manslaughter is 10 years in prison, under Maryland law.

Juveniles 14 years of age or older can be charged as adults for felonies and other serious crimes. However, a defendant can petition for a hearing for a judge to determine whether charges should be transferred to juvenile court.

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