FREDERICK TEEN TO BE PLACED IN LONG-TERM JUVENILE BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION PROGRAM
Frederick, MD – This morning in Frederick County Circuit Court, a disposition hearing was held for the 15-year-old juvenile charged in the death of John Weed at the Great Frederick Fair last year. Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. followed the State’s recommendation that the respondent be placed in a long-term behavioral modification program. Nicklas commented that, “this is a flat out horrible case” and that this was an “unprovoked sucker punch.” Mr. Weed did nothing to deserve being hit or pursued by these youth. The respondent will remain in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services pending placement in a program.
Following the hearing today, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith stated, “In the juvenile system, this is the best we can do for the family. It’s also what is right at this time for the offender given his status as a juvenile. Nothing will bring back their loved one, but I hope that they can begin to heal a little more now that this part is behind them.”
In Frederick County Circuit Court April 29th, the respondent pled guilty to Manslaughter for the September 20th offense at the Frederick Fair. The State requested that the youth be tried as an adult, but after a lengthy hearing in February the Court determined he would remain in the juvenile system. Mr. Weed’s family participated in today’s hearing via video conference. They faithfully attended every hearing, and wanted to see the youth held accountable in an appropriate juvenile residential program.
On the evening of September 20th, 2019, John Weed was enjoying a family night at the fair when he was approached by the 15-year-old juvenile male and a couple friends. The 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 facts that the teen stipulated included that he hit Mr. Weed twice as Mr. Weed walked away, then his brother got involved and hit him twice. When Mr. Weed was facing his 16-year-old brother, the respondent came running from a distance and punched Mr. Weed with such force, the photos indicate he had lost consciousness almost immediately. Mr. Weed never regained consciousness and died of his injuries the next day at Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The facts as detailed in the Courtroom on April 29th indicated that all the witnesses who were present for the entire incident, including the respondent himself, said that there were no racial slurs used.
The 16-year-old co-respondent charged as a juvenile with two counts of 2nd Degree Assault is pending trial.
The State was represented by Chief Assistant State’s Attorneys Laura Wilt and Rebecca Clinton.