FREDERICK, MD – In a written legal opinion released today, Frederick Circuit Court Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. ruled that the 15-year-old respondent charged in connection with the Great Frederick Fair attack on John Weed September 20, 2019, will remain in the juvenile system. The respondent is charged with manslaughter, 1st degree assault, and 2nd degree assault.
After reviewing Judge Nicklas’ ruling, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “Prosecutors Rebecca Clinton and Laura Wilt worked very hard to provide a compelling argument for waiver. However, we have to respect the Judge’s ruling while continuing to seek justice for Mr. Weed’s family. Smith added, “This has been a sad situation that unfortunately has divided our community. We will continue to fight for the victim’s family, while respecting the decision.”
A waiver hearing was held on February 21st in which the State and defense presented arguments. A waiver hearing is a hearing in which the Court decides whether to grant or deny the State’s request to waive the juvenile to adult court jurisdiction. The State filed waiver petitions on both juveniles charged in this case which alleged that based on a number of factors the particular youths should be tried as adults, rather than in juvenile court. The factors the court considers include the seriousness and nature of the offense, public safety, age of the youth, mental and physical condition, and the youth’s alleged amenability to juvenile rehabilitative measures.
Judge Julie Solt ruled that both respondents charged in the Frederick Fair incident would have closed courtroom waiver hearings, meaning anyone not directly involved in the case is not permitted inside. Judges often close the courtroom to the public for juvenile proceedings to protect the confidentiality of matters about the youth.
Both respondents in this case have now had waiver hearings and it has been determined that they will remain in the juvenile system.