Boy pleads guilty, faces 15-year term in baseball bat assault NORTH COUNTY -- Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

October 21, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Brooklyn Park boy faces 15 years in prison for beating a friend senseless with a baseball bat in April during an argument over two pair of roller blades.

Scott McKenzie, of the 400 block of Audrey Ave., pleaded guilty yesterday to assault with intent to maim for hitting his friend two times in the head with a baseball bat.

The victim, Donny Thomas, lived a block away and had come to the McKenzie house at about 2:30 p.m. on April 13 to demand the return of two pairs of roller blades the McKenzie youth had promised to pay for, said Cynthia M. Ferris, assistant state's attorney.

Ms. Ferris said the McKenzie youth stood over the motionless body right after the beating and calmly told a police officer, "I hit him with the bat."

The Thomas youth spent a month in the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a month in a rehabilitation center learning how to walk and "keep his balance" again and must remain in out-patient therapy for another year, Ms. Ferris said.

Paul Hazelhurst, McKenzie's public defender, had sought to have the case remanded to juvenile court, which would have reversed a July court order to try him as an adult.

But Judge Raymond G. Thieme said this week that the youth's history of criminal offenses necessitated trying him as an adult.

From the age of 12, McKenzie was found guilty of assault and battery counts in 1990 and 1988. He also was found guilty of malicious destruction of property stemming from painting a neighbor's car. He was expelled from school for repeatedly fighting, according to testimony.

"I try to fight when I shouldn't fight," he said at a court hearing Friday to reassess his criminal status.

Juvenile authorities said the youth probably wouldn't be amenable to treatment, in part because his parents have yet to acknowledge the severity of his problems.

Last week, his father, Mark McKenzie Sr., quietly told the court, "I think he has a little problem with his temper."

The youth is under court-ordered house arrest at his mother's house in Cumberland.

Judge Thieme ordered a psychiatric evaluation and pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Jan. 8.

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