FREDERICK, MD – This afternoon in Frederick County Circuit Court, a bond review was held for Jessica Margaret Irving, age 33, of Hagerstown, Maryland. Irving was indicted by the Frederick Grand Jury March 19, 2021 on three counts of Sex Abuse of a Minor and three counts of Sex Offense-Juvenile Detainee. The State requested that the defendant be held without bond due to the nature of the charges involving a child while Irving was in a position of authority. Judge Richard Sandy ordered a $5,000 secured bond, pretrial supervision, and no contact with the victim or minor-aged children.


On April 16, 2020, the Maryland State Police was contacted by the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) regarding a sexual abuse complaint between a prior Victor Cullen Center youth and current Victor Cullen staff member.  It was reported that a 17-year-old youth had been released from the Victor Cullen Center on March 23, 2020.  Once he was released, the staff member contacted him via social media. The youth was interviewed and told investigators that the staff member picked him up from his home on two occasions and drove together to a location where they engaged in sexual intercourse.  He also advised that while he was at the Victor Cullen Center, the staff member had sexual contact with him approximately six or seven different occasions.  The victim also stated that he and the staff member would frequently kiss while he was in the treatment program at Victor Cullen Center. All charges specifically relate to Irving’s relationship with the teen during his time as a resident of Victor Cullen.


The Victor Cullen Center is a Department of Juvenile Services hardware secure treatment facility for male youths located in Sabillasville, Maryland.


Frederick Man Found Guilty of Voter Intimidation

FREDERICK, MD – This morning in Frederick County District Court, James Dale Reed, age 42, of Frederick stood trial charged with one count of Threat of Mass Violence and one count of Voter Intimidation. The bench trial was held before the Honorable Judge Eric William Schaffer. Following arguments and testimony put forward by the State and defense, Judge Schaffer found Reed Guilty of Voter Intimidation and Not Guilty for Threat of Mass Violence. Following a recess, Reed was sentenced to 2 years in the Division of Corrections with all but time served (132 days) suspended. Reed must also complete 3 years of supervised probation.


In reaction to the ruling, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “In the rendering of his verdict, Judge Schaffer stated that the Maryland statute requires a minimum of 5 people be threatened to constitute a threat of mass violence. We respect his interpretation of the law, but believe that the letter clearly represented a serious threat of political violence against a larger group of people.”


Reed was charged after residents of a home on Kline Blvd. in Frederick reported receiving a threatening letter in their mailbox. Reed targeted the address due to several political signs displayed on their property. The letter contained threats of violence against then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, his running-mate Sen. Kamala Harris, and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. The letter also stated, “this is a warning to anyone reading this letter that if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be “targeted”, have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs.”


The State was represented by Assistant State’s Attorney Samantha Slattery. Federal charges in this incident are pending.



James Dale Reed

Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Engler joins the Legal Advisory Committee for the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

Congratulations to Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Engler on joining the Legal Advisory Committee for the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention. Ms. Engler works hard each day to protect victims of domestic violence and raise awareness of the dangers of strangulation.


Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault: Mere seconds can result in unconsciousness, and minutes leading to death. In the past, the severity of strangulation was often overlooked due to the apparent lack of external physical injuries. Greater study revealed the severe and lasting impacts of constricting blood and air flow in the neck.


Domestic violence safety advocates, medical professionals, legislators, and prosecutors have all recognized the serious nature of this offense and have taken great strides to help protect victims. In 2020, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation defining strangulation as 1st Degree Assault, a felony that can carry up to 25 years incarceration.

Statistics release by the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention highlight that victims are 750% more likely to be murdered by someone who had previously strangled them.



The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention (Institute) is a program of Alliance for HOPE International.  The Institute was launched with support from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women in 2011 in effort to bring awareness and education about the lethality and long-term consequences of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation assaults to victims of across the lifespan.  The Institute seeks to prevent IPV homicides through awareness, education and training; develop new tools and resources; support professionals in the field; identify and promote best practices; recruit and develop experts and specialist; enhance the health and safety of victims; and improve offender accountability. The Institute has three working committees: Medical, Legal and Advocacy.

Brett Engler

Assistant State’s Attorney


District Court Chief Michael J. Moore Appointed to State Board of Law Examiners

Michael J. Moore, Esq., Executive Team and Chief of our District Court Division, was recently appointed to the State Board of Law Examiners by Maryland’s Highest Court, the Court of Appeals.   The State Board of Law Examiners and its staff administer the bar examination and coordinate the application process by which persons are admitted to practice law in Maryland. Historically, Courts of the Maryland Province were first authorized to examine persons seeking to practice law in 1715. These examinations typically were carried out by the County Courts from 1715 to 1851. Those duties then were assigned to the Circuit Courts from 1851 to 1898, when the State Board of Law Examiners was created by the General Assembly.  Seven lawyers compose the Board of Law Examiners. They are appointed to five-year terms by the Court of Appeals . Moore replaces longtime Western Region board member Greg Getty, who recently retired. Reflecting on the new position, Moore commented, “I am humbled and honored to be able to serve my profession in this capacity and look forward to the challenge.”

Michael J. Moore

SAO District Court Chief


FREDERICK, MD – The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office (FCSAO) has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting death of Bryan Selmer that occurred on October 19, 2020 at approximately 2:52pm in the area of the Silo Hill Exxon in Emmitsburg, MD involving two deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. The FCSAO’s review focused exclusively on whether criminal charges relating to the deputies’ conduct are warranted.

After the review of all available evidence, the involved deputies’ conduct does not warrant criminal charges under Maryland law. This conclusion is based entirely on the relevant criminal laws and standards of proof in Maryland and does not limit administrative action by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office or civil actions where less stringent laws, rules, and legal standards of proof apply. The FCSAO’s authority extends only to criminal matters and as such we express no opinion regarding the propriety or likelihood of success of any non-criminal actions.

FCSAO Declination Report – Bryan SELMER PR COPY


FREDERICK CO. CYBER CRIME TASK FORCE SEES MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS: Fights to Protect Children from Online Predators During COVID-19

FREDERICK, MD – State’s Attorney Charlie Smith was joined this morning by leadership from the Frederick Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Federal partners from the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), along with members of the Frederick County Cyber Crime Task Force to announce major successes in combating online crime in Frederick County.


“At a time when more children are online than ever due to COVID-19, it is critical that law enforcement remains focused on combating the unwavering threats posed by cyber predators. We want to remind the community that even as we face this unprecedented pandemic, hard-working detectives and prosecutors are on the job to keep your children safe.” State’s Attorney Smith commented.

The Frederick County Cyber Crime Task Force (FCCCTF) was formed in May 2019 as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State’s Attorney’s Office, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and Frederick Police Department. The mission of the FCCCTF is to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute internet sexual predators who exploit children through the use of the internet and technology, consistent with Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force standards and procedures. “The Cyber Crime Task Force has proven to be a very effective partnership and a necessary law enforcement resource in identifying and taking cyber predators, those that target children, off of our streets with a more aggressive prosecution, said Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins adding, “All of the agencies involved in the FCCCTF have demonstrated their commitment to the mission and the investigators assigned to the unit have quickly become very effective in what they do. I recognize the increasing need to address these on-line predators that can gain access to and sexually exploit children anywhere. I only see the task force growing in size and becoming more effective over time in building strong cases and the swift prosecution of offenders.”



The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) plays a critical role in forwarding cyber tips to law enforcement agencies. The Cyber Tip Line reports of suspected child sexual exploitation rose from 983,734 reports in March 2019 to 2,027,520 in March 2020, a 106% increase. NCMEC vice president John Shehan recently said, “COVID-19 has presented challenges and opportunities in the fight against child sexual exploitation. In the first quarter of 2020, NCMEC became aware of predators openly discussing the pandemic as an opportunity to entice unsupervised children into producing sexually explicit material.” Locally, from January 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020, Maryland saw 4,711 tips of which 163 were from Frederick County. In 2019, the Task Force conducted undercover online chat operations that concluded with seven arrests of defendants that traveled to Frederick County to have sex with minors.


The Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force receives tips from NCMEC and conducts Statewide investigations. Tips are then sent to Frederick County law enforcement to investigate alleged criminal activity. “The Maryland State Police is proud to be a partner with Frederick County law enforcement in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, said.  “I commend the investigators who are committed to protecting our children against those who use such insidious methods to harm them and perpetuate the scourge of child pornography.  I am grateful for the members of the State’s Attorney’s Office who are dedicated to prosecuting these criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”

Collaboration with Federal law enforcement partners has been key to the success of the FCCCTF. “Frederick City and County have taken bold steps to help protect children, as online predators are more active than ever right now,” said Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “The FBI is only as strong as our partnerships and we appreciate the hard work that is being done to open more doors for law enforcement to be proactive instead of reactive.” Federal specialized resources provided include forensic examiners, enhanced technical services for encrypted devices and intrusion experts, and national and international Internet Service Provider and law enforcement contacts. Working with Federal prosecutors can also yield stronger sentences and sex offender supervision. First-time offenders have Maryland Guidelines of Probation to 2 years versus Federal Mandatory Minimums of 5 to 10 years. Maryland maximum supervised probation is 5 years and 15 years for a Tier I offense versus Federal lifetime registry and supervision.


The State’s Attorney’s Office has more than tripled the number of child sexual exploitation prosecutions in Frederick County since 2019. Fifteen defendants faced prosecution from 2017-19 on state charges. Since 2019, fifty-four defendants have been prosecuted, with seven additional facing Federal charges.


An important focus of the Task Force partnership has been pushing a legislative effort in Annapolis to enact laws that address the issues facing investigators. HB1027/SB736 expanded Maryland’s child pornography law to include “lascivious exhibition”. Legislators also added language that allows prosecution of pornographic content featuring computer-generated images that are indistinguishable from an actual child. HB246/SB231 expanded the current Sexual Solicitation of a Minor law to include the prohibition of the sexual solicitation of a child through their parent, guardian, or custodian.  The bill also added an enhanced 20-year penalty for a second or subsequent offense.  These changes demonstrate that the legislature acknowledges the growing number of online child sexual exploitation cases and the public policy need to respond to protect children from victimization. In 2021, the Task Force will look to address sentencing for Child Pornography and Solicitation of Minors by advocating for stronger penalties before the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy. State’s Attorney Smith added, “First-time offenders are far too often granted Probation Before Judgement (PBJ) by judges. Given the high recidivism rate among sex offenders and the severe trauma these young victims endure, we simply must do more to protect our children from predators.”



Frederick Police Lt. Andrew Alcorn believes this relationship will only continue to grow saying, “The Frederick Police Department is appreciative to have the opportunity to collaborate on this topic and these cases with our partners.  The information sharing and resources that each individual from each discipline and agency brings to the table is invaluable to the success of the team.  We look forward to working with our partners moving forward for continued success.”



David Robert Leatherman, age 42, of Hanover, Pennsylvania declined to waive extradition in a bond review before Judge Dino Flores Jr. this afternoon in Frederick County District Court. Leatherman is a suspect in an attempted murder in Pennsylvania. Leatherman will be held without bond at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center pending a future court date regarding the Fugitive From Justice warrant.


“The State’s Attorney’s office will be independently evaluating the police use of deadly force to determine whether it was objectively reasonable under a totality of circumstances, the standard articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court. We will be releasing a report with our findings after a thorough and complete investigation and analysis.” – J. Charles Smith III, State’s Attorney


FREDERICK, MD – Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office Juvenile Division Chief Laura Wilt was appointed for three years to Governor Hogan’s Juvenile Grant Planning and Review Council. The Council is Maryland’s State Advisory Group to fulfill guidelines laid out in the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974. The Council falls under the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP).


State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “our juvenile justice system plays an underappreciated and critical role in crime reduction and the public safety of our communities.  Funding is not only essential, but it is smart fiscal policy.  I can’t help but once again tout the leadership of this Office on important statewide issues, and congratulate Laura Wilt on her appointment by the Governor.”


Members of the Council must have training, experience, or special knowledge concerning adolescent development, the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency, the administration of juvenile justice, and the reduction of juvenile delinquency.  The Governor must appoint a minimum of 15 professionals to the Council, and a maximum of 33.


As part of the Council, Ms. Wilt will take on key objectives including work on aftercare and reentry, juvenile justice system improvement, delinquency prevention, and community-based programs and services. The focus will continue to be on community-based programs that prepare targeted youth to successfully return to their homes and communities after confinement in a training school, youth correctional facility, or other secure institution. These programs focus on preparing youth for release and providing a continuum of follow-up, post-placement services to promote successful reintegration into the community. The Council also addresses programs, research, or other initiatives to examine issues or improve practices, policies, or procedures on a system-wide basis (e.g. examining problems affecting decisions from arrest to disposition and detention to corrections). Delinquency prevention is targeted through programs that meet the needs of youth through collaboration of the many local systems before which a youth may appear, including schools, courts, law enforcement agencies, child protection agencies, mental health agencies, welfare services, health care agencies, and private nonprofit agencies offering youth services.


Laura Wilt

Juvenile Division Chief,

Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office




September 18, 2020

FREDERICK, MD –                                  INDICTMENT

This morning, the Frederick County Grand Jury indicted Jordan Burris Hooks, age 27, of Frederick on charges of 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Assault, Use of a Firearm in a Felony, and handgun on-person. Hooks is held without bond at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.



On the evening of Friday, September 11, 2020, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Jordan Hooks, 27, of Frederick and charged him with 1st Degree Murder for the homicide of Mr. Jaemari Anderson that occurred on September 6, 2020. Through the process of the investigation, detectives were able to determine that Anderson and Hooks were described as close friends and were both at Hooks’ house throughout the day and evening of September 6th. During the execution of a search warrant served at Hooks’ residence on Waterview Court, detectives located Anderson’s cell phone and other personal property in Hooks’ basement that Mr. Anderson was known to always carry with him.


Additional evidence obtained included videos from Hooks’ cell phone, believed to have been recorded on September 5th, depicting Hooks and several others in his basement smoking and brandishing handguns. At one point, Hooks is seen holding and pointing a silver-colored handgun at the camera.


When interviewed, Hooks confirmed that he and Anderson had been together during the day of the homicide, but that he had not had contact with Anderson for a period of time prior to the shooting, claiming that Anderson had left his house to meet his girlfriend. Hooks had no explanation for why Anderson would leave his cell phone and other personal property items at his house when Anderson left.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that on September 6th there had been a confrontation involving Anderson in Hooks’ basement. This led to Hooks and Anderson agreeing to a physical fight outside. The investigation revealed that when Anderson left the room, Hooks pulled a handgun from the couch, similar to the one he had been waiving around in the video, and put it in his waistband. The group then left the basement and headed toward the walking path in Waterside. Witnesses and neighbors describe hearing a single gunshot and seeing people fleeing the area.  Investigators located a single shell casing within a few feet of the victim.

Detectives are still considering this an ongoing homicide investigation. Anyone with information should report it to Det. Jason Brady of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.


An indictment is a charging document alleging criminal conduct.  All Defendants are innocent until proven guilty.







Frederick, MD – This morning in Frederick County Circuit Court, a 16-year-old Respondent faced a disposition hearing after pleading guilty to 2nd Degree Assault in July in connection with the September 2019 attack of John Weed at the Great Frederick Fair. The disposition hearing was closed to the public by order of Judge Julie Solt at the request of the defense. As in all juvenile proceedings, the Judge has the discretion to close the courtroom. The State and victim’s family asked that the Respondent be committed and placed in a juvenile treatment program.  Today, Judge Solt ordered that the Respondent be placed on probation with conditions including anger management.   The Judge scheduled a further disposition hearing this Fall during which he could be removed from the community and placed in a juvenile facility at that time if he is not compliant.

On the evening of September 20th, 2019, John Weed was enjoying a family night at the fair when he was approached by the 16-year-old juvenile male, his 15-year-old brother, and a couple of their friends.  The 15-year-old teen and another youth asked Mr. Weed for money.  Mr. Weed said “no”.  The youth kept pursuing Mr. Weed, despite family members begging the youth to leave him alone. The respondent pursued the victim, punching him in the back of the head. As Mr. Weed squared up with the respondent, his 15-year-old brother came running from a distance and punched Mr. Weed with such force that photos indicated he likely lost consciousness almost immediately. As Mr. Weed laid unconscious on the ground, the respondent spat on him. Mr. Weed ultimately died of his injuries the next day at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

The 15-year-old co-respondent in this case pled guilty to manslaughter on April 29, 2020. On May 15th, Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. followed the State’s recommendation that the respondent be placed in a long-term behavioral modification program.

The family of John Weed attended this morning’s hearing. They have appeared regularly for all of the hearings since the teens arrest in September 2019. Weed’s family supported placement in an appropriate juvenile treatment program for both respondents.

The State was represented by Chief Assistant State’s Attorneys Laura Wilt and Rebecca Clinton.