Suspect in fatal stabbing may be freed on bond

November 17, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that a 16-year-old Millersville boy, charged with killing another boy during a fight over a flat bicycle tire may be released from the county detention center pending trial but must remain at his uncle's home.

Circuit Court Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. said that Steven C. Barrett Jr., of the 8300 block of Brookwood Road, can remain free on bond as long as he stays at his uncle's 12-acre homestead in Romney, W.Va.

Judge Thieme said that as a condition of the bond, the Barrett youth's parents will have to post their home as collateral and he will have to report once a week to judicial authorities in Cumberland.

At a brief hearing yesterday, the Barrett youth said nothing and stared at the table in front of him.

No trial date has been set.

The Barrett youth is accused of the Oct. 6 stabbing death of Charles H. Cross, 16, of the 8300 block of Oakwood Road.

Police said the Barrett youth, his sister Jenny, and his girlfriend, Wendy Rice, were in the Rice home, in the 200 block of Poplar Road, when Wendy went outside about 8 p.m. to talk to the victim.

The boy complained to her that someone let the air out of his bike tires, a shouting match broke out and the Barrett youth went outside to intervene, police said.

The argument escalated and two boys fell to the ground, fighting. The Cross youth was stabbed and died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center less than four hours later.

Assistant public defender Mark Blumberg said yesterday that the financial arrangements will be completed in the next day or two and that his client would be released shortly after that.

Mr. Blumberg said the West Virginia location is the best alternative because it means the youth will be kept away from the community where the killing occurred.

Supporters of the victim's family have peppered State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee with letters asking for prosecution. Some 50 people also showed up for a pre-trial bond hearing after the murder.

Until yesterday, the Barrett youth had been held without bond at the county detention center pending an evaluation by physicians at Crownsville State Hospital. He was found competent to stand trial in a report completed last week, Mr. Blumberg said.

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