Cedar Knoll escapee guilty in robbery WEST COUNTY CROFTON - ODENTON - FORT MEADE - GAMBRILLS

October 16, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

An 18-year-old escapee from a juvenile detention facility in Jessup pleaded guilty to robbery yesterday for his involvement in a carjacking last February in Jessup.

Steven R. Berry of Washington was part of a group of seven residents of Cedar Knoll who escaped from the school at about 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8.

The facility is operated by the District of Columbia. Congress this year deleted money for its operation from the federal budget, leaving the facility's future in doubt.

After escaping, the group made its way to a grove of trees near the Jessup post office, at 2851 Jessup Road, where one of the youths approached Jean Grant of Jessup as she was walking back to her car after mailing a letter.

When he asked her for a ride, she noticed the group of youths in the trees behind him, all of them dressed in jeans and dark shirts, which are uniforms at Cedar Knoll.

Ms. Grant, who had left her keys in the ignition, refused repeated requests for a ride. She tried to get back into her 1988 Beretta but was pushed to the ground by one of the youths.

The group piled into the car and drove off, heading east on Route 175, according to a statement of facts read to the court yesterday by prosecutor Kathleen Butler.

The school is about a mile from the post office, said Trooper Michael Grant, who is assigned to the Glen Burnie barracks.

The car, valued at $6,100, was found destroyed the next day in the District of Columbia. It had been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Southeast Washington, and $51 left in the victim's purse was missing, according to the statement.

Assistant State's Attorney Robert Bittman said Berry was in Cedar Knoll because of drug offenses he committed as a juvenile. Berry faces 10 years on the robbery charge, Mr. Bittman said.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. set sentencing for Nov. 30.

Trooper Grant said three of the seven youths who escaped that day remain at large.

Of the other three who have been apprehended, two have been sent back to Cedar Knoll and the other is scheduled to be tried in an Anne Arundel County Juvenile Court Oct. 21.

Trooper Grant said that since the escape, the school has erected a fence topped by razor wire around its grounds.

Officials at the school declined to comment yesterday.

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