Teen convicted of selling heroin loses juvenile waiver appeal

November 18, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Kristopher Olenginski, a Westminster juvenile who was convicted as an adult for selling heroin to a schoolmate who died of an overdose, lost a bid yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court to have the case returned to juvenile court.

Olenginski, now 17, was sentenced to 18 months in the Carroll County Detention Center in September 1998. He remained free pending an appeal of the waiver decision made by Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold that allowed Olenginski to be tried as an adult.

In June, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals remanded Olenginski's case, saying Arnold should have explained why he granted the waiver and state on the record his basis for rejecting the recommendation of Department of Juvenile Justice caseworkers to deal with Olenginski in the juvenile court system.

Arnold recused himself, and Carroll prosecutor David P. Daggett yesterday took the matter before Howard Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr., who again waived Olenginski to adult court.

Olenginski, a college freshman, may appeal Kane's ruling within 30 days or make arrangements to surrender and begin serving his sentence, Daggett said.

Olenginski had pleaded not guilty in January 1998, but was found guilty by Elsbeth L. Bothe, a former Baltimore Circuit Court judge.

In addition to the 18-month sentence, she also ordered Olenginski to perform 240 hours of community service while awaiting the appeal.

The heroin overdose death of 15-year-old Liam O'Hara, a Westminster High School sophomore, occurred Jan. 9, 1998, the morning after the drug transaction. Two teen-agers older than Olenginski were tried as juveniles for their involvement in selling the fatal dose of heroin to O'Hara.

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