Boy pleads guilty to murder solicitation

Teen asked classmate to kill, Arundel court told

February 13, 1999|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

A 15-year-old former Old Mill Senior High School student pleaded guilty yesterday to solicitation to commit murder for offering another teen-ager $100 to kill a classmate who annoyed him by asking too many questions in class.

The Millersville youth, who was described by his attorney as having a learning disability, could be given probation when Anne Arundel County Juvenile Court Master James McCarthy sentences him April 13.

No one was hurt by the threat made March 26 on a bus outside the school, in part because the "hit man," a Glen Burnie teen-ager, never intended to complete the assignment, said Assistant State's Attorney Michael Bergeson.

Instead, the Glen Burnie youth tried to extort $500 from the teen-ager who asked him to commit the crime, threatening to tell the school principal if his classmate didn't come up with the money, Bergeson said.

The mother of the Glen Burnie teen heard about the conversation and told school administrators, who called the police.

Police charged the Glen Burnie youth with delinquency for attempting to extort money from his classmate, and a Juvenile Court judge found the Glen Burnie teen guilty in October.

The Sun is not printing the names of the youths because they are juveniles whose charges are being heard in Juvenile Court. Defense attorney Stephen Bourexis told the court yesterday that his client has the communication skills of a fourth-grader and has not received enough help from his schools.

Bourexis said the youth admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him but not that he committed the crime.

During a class discussion at Old Mill on March 26, the defendant became angry because another student kept cutting him off and loudly asking questions, making it difficult for the defendant to say anything, Bergeson said.

The defendant became so irritated he asked another student to kill the loud classmate, Bergeson said. The target of the threat was not harmed and didn't know about the alleged scheme.

A skinny youth with a long neck and military-style haircut, the defendant appeared to swim in his oversized blue blazer as he stood before the judge. The defendant sighed when the judge asked if he really knew what he was doing.

"What grade are you in?" the judge asked.

"Um," the defendant began, "I'm in the second semester, 10th grade."

"You know that the practical effect of this is that you will be considered guilty," the judge said. "Is that what you want to do?"

"Yes, it is," the defendant said quietly, as his parents watched from the court gallery.

Pub Date: 2/13/99

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