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Teen accused of pointing pellet gun at police won't be tried in adult court

November 09, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A teenager accused of pointing what turned out to be a pellet gun at Hagerstown police officers Monday morning will not be tried in adult court, a Washington County District Court judge ruled Wednesday.

Assistant State’s Attorney Rena Heneghan made a motion to Washington County District Judge Mark D. Thomas to dismiss charges against Roy Dwight Winston Jr., 17, of 321 Devonshire Road.

Winston had been charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, and single counts of carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm or other weapons, according to court records.

“After further investigation, we didn’t feel the facts could sustain the first-degree assault charges which gave the adult court jurisdiction over him,” Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Kessell said.

Winston is accused of pointing the pellet gun at plainclothes officers, but he did not discharge the weapon or attempt to injure the officers with it, Kessell said.

“He will be recharged through the Department of Juvenile Services,” Kessell said.

While charged as an adult, Winston was being held in the county detention center on $50,000 bond, but it would be up to juvenile services whether to recommend that Winston be held in juvenile detention until his case is resolved, Kessell said.

Plainclothes officers were patrolling the West End at about 1 a.m. when they encountered two males walking in the street in the 800 block of West Washington Street, according to the statement of probable cause. The officers drove up next to them and asked what they were doing and one responded with profanity, the charging documents said.

The officers continued to watch the males and saw one pass what appeared to be a handgun to the other, the documents said. The officers turned their vehicle around and called for additional police.

One of the males pulled the weapon and pointed it at the officers, the documents said. When other units arrived, the two males ran, but the one with the weapon was apprehended and identified as Winston, the documents said.

Both officers believed at that time that Winston was holding a real gun, and they were in danger of being fired upon, the documents said.

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