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15-year-old charged in murder has case remanded to Juvenile court

July 03, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
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A hearing to determine whether a 15-year-old accused of murder will have his case heard in adult or juvenile court was continued Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court, but the state did outline what it expects from Jenaro Torres if it consents to having his case heard as a juvenile.

Torres, of 19 Broadway, Apt. 2, in Hagerstown is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, armed robbery, theft and other offenses in the April 20 shooting death of Steven Andrew O’Brien at his Randolph Avenue apartment.

Cory Antonio Usher, 36, of 453 W. Antietam St., Apt. 12, and Torres’ brother, Eduardo Emilio Gonzalez, 26, of 19 Broadway, Apt. 2 also are charged in O’Brien’s death.

The state will consent to have Torres’ case heard in juvenile court if he makes a video statement to police, agrees to make an admission to an unspecified offense in juvenile court and agrees to testify truthfully against Usher and Gonzalez should their cases go to trial, Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion told Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr.

“My client is ready, willing and able” to cooperate with the state, Torres’ attorney, Bernard W. Semler II, told Long.

An assistant public defender had filed a motion in Washington County District Court for a reverse waiver investigation for Torres after he, Gonzalez and Usher were arrested in May, Cirincion said after the hearing.

However, she told Long during the hearing that the investigation had not yet been performed by the Department of Juvenile Services. The state would consent to his case being heard in juvenile court, but some details of Torres’ agreement to testify had not been finalized, she said.

Long rescheduled the hearing for July 17.

The three are accused of going to O’Brien’s home after he sent out a mass text message indicating he had marijuana to sell, according to charging documents. Torres stayed in a vehicle outside while Usher and Gonzalez went into the apartment, charging documents said.

Usher shot O’Brien in the head, according to charging documents. About $150 worth of marijuana was stolen in the incident, the documents said.

The charging documents said Torres had been a frequent visitor to O’Brien’s home before the murder.

Torres has been held at the Western Maryland Children’s Center since shortly after his arrest. Usher and Gonzalez are being held at the Washington County Detention Center.

If tried as an adult, Torres could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.

If his case is transferred to juvenile court and he is adjudicated delinquent, the court could have jurisdiction over his case until Torres reaches the age of 21, according to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

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