Jessup man gets probation in fight at Wilde Lake High Teacher who intervened died of a heart attack after schoolyard brawl

January 06, 1998|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

An 18-year-old Jessup man received a suspended sentence, probation and community service yesterday for his role in a schoolyard brawl that preceded the death of a Wilde Lake High School science teacher last spring.

Dawann Rondray Hebron pleaded guilty in Howard Circuit Court to trespassing. He was given a six-month suspended sentence, one year of supervised probation and was ordered to perform 60 hours of community service. An additional charge of disturbing school operations was dropped.

Hebron told police he traveled from Howard High School May 14 with fellow student Erica Lynn Gresham to protect her in the event of a fight.

Biology teacher Lawrence C. Hoyer, 60, died shortly after trying to break up the fight. Autopsy results showed that Hoyer suffered a heart attack, so no students were charged in connection with his death.

But 12 students were charged with crimes ranging from assault to disorderly conduct as the schoolyard melee brought into sharp focus rising youth violence, especially among girls.

In Howard County between 1992 and 1995, the rate of increase in the number of girls referred to juvenile authorities was 50 percent higher than for boys, according to figures from the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Prosecutors say details about the fight are hazy. A juvenile master, who is comparable to a judge in adult court, found one 15-year-old Wilde Lake High girl guilty of second-degree assault this fall -- the first real indication of who was to blame for the brawl, according to sources close to the case.

Prosecutors have said in court that after a verbal altercation with a Wilde Lake High School student last May, Gresham went to Wilde Lake the next day, where conflict broke out again with the student and another 15-year-old girl.Gresham used a miniature souvenir baseball bat during the fight.

The two 15-year-old girls from Wilde Lake High School were found guilty of disorderly conduct and disturbing school operations, and one was found guilty of assault. Another girl was tried in juvenile court but the disposition of that case could not be learned.

In November, Gresham was given 18 months' probation and ordered to perform 60 hours of community service for her role in the melee after pleading guilty to reduced charges of disturbing school operations in a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Three more juveniles face trials this month. Two boys from Wilde Lake High and one girl from Howard High will be tried on disorderly conduct charges, according to prosecutors.

The remaining cases were handled by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Pub Date: 1/06/98

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