Third teen charged in crash is released 17-year-old turned over to parents

July 08, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

The last of three teen-agers facing charges in the June 6 crash that killed three 15-year-old friends near Eldersburg was released from detention yesterday.

Carroll Juvenile Master Peter M. Tabatsko released Anthony Antonio Liason, 17, into the custody of his parents so that the youth could begin summer school today at Gaithersburg High, said the boy's attorney, Joseph E. Stolz Jr. of Gaithersburg.

Tony Liason's release from the Charles W. Hickey School in Cub Hill -- where he has been held since the accident -- comes a day after Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman filed a request to have charges against him and Donny Simms of Mount Airy, the driver of the stolen car involved in the accident, moved to Carroll Circuit Court.

In petitions to have the youths tried as adults, Mr. Hickman and Assistant State's Attorney Erin Danz said the boys are "unfit for juvenile rehabilitative efforts" and are "not amenable" to treatment in the juvenile system.

Mr. Hickman and Ms. Danz declined to comment on the case yesterday. They routinely do not discuss cases involving juveniles.

According to Mr. Stolz, Ms. Danz did not object to Tony Liason's release from the Hickey School.

The Liason youth faces charges of automobile theft and possession of alcohol. The Simms youth faces those charges as well as three counts of automobile manslaughter, reckless driving, speeding and drunken driving.

Donny Simms also had been held at the Hickey School until he was placed on electronic home monitoring June 28.

Police records and two survivors of the crash have told The Sun that the Simms youth was driving a stolen Toyota Corolla at speeds up to 110 mph when it crashed near a bridge on Liberty Road near the Liberty Reservoir early June 6.

Eight teen-agers -- a brother and sister, cousins and best friends -- were in the car. Six were thrown onto the two-lane road as the eastbound car went out of control and flipped onto its roof.

When the car came to rest in the westbound lane, three of the teens -- 15-year-old best friends Dink Diggs of Mount Airy and Christopher Norris of Marriottsville, and Donny's 15-year-old sister, Donna -- were dead. The five survivors were sent to hospitals in Baltimore and in Baltimore and Carroll counties.

Melissa "Missy" Costley and Angela Nichole "Nikki" Costley -- 15-year-old sisters from Gaithersburg -- spent several days in the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with severe head and leg injuries.

Tony Liason and Danny Barnes, 16, both cousins of Donna and Donny Simms and both of Gaithersburg, were treated at area hospitals.

The Barnes youth has been on home detention since June 7, and Carroll prosecutors had not yet filed a request to charge him with auto theft and alcohol possession as an adult.

The car in which they were riding had been stolen June 4 from a Maryland Commuter Rail parking lot in Gaithersburg.

The teen-agers had been at a dance at the Putt N' Fun in Mount Airy -- where they drank a case of malt liquor, according to two of the crash survivors -- the night of June 5 when they decided to drive to Randallstown. On the way, the Simms youth sped past two state troopers. He lost control of the car near the first bridge over Liberty Reservoir about two miles west of the Baltimore County line.

Attorneys for the Liason and Simms youths have said they will fight the prosecutors' request to have the cases moved to adult court.

A law clerk for William T. Wood of Rockville, Donny Simms' attorney, confirmed Mr. Hickman's request to have the charges moved to adult court. Last month, Mr. Wood told a reporter that he would oppose any efforts to have his client's case moved from the juvenile system.

Mr. Stolz, Tony Liason's attorney, said yesterday that his client "doesn't meet the criteria" for having his case removed from the juvenile system.

Tony Liason is set today to begin summer school so that he may begin his sophomore year in September at Gaithersburg High School, Mr. Stolz said. He has support from his parents, and is expected to undergo counseling and participate in youth programs at his church.

"We believe, because of his good background, he can benefit greatly from treatment in the juvenile system," Mr. Stolz said.

Hearings to decide whether to transfer the two cases to adult court have not been scheduled.

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