Official has boy sent to Hickey

Psychiatric report on fatal shooting suspect given as basis for move

Family supervision assailed

May 10, 2000|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

An Ellicott City teen accused of shooting and killing his 13-year-old friend last month was ordered held at a juvenile jail after a juvenile master said that psychiatric evaluations showed the boy is a danger to the community.

The 16-year-old boy appeared briefly yesterday before Juvenile Master Bernard A. Raum, who reviewed the reports and said the youth "represents a substantial risk to others and cannot be properly supervised in the community."

The Sun is withholding the name of the youth because the newspaper does not publish the names of juveniles accused of crimes.

The boy has spent the past two weeks at the Finan Center, a psychiatric facility in Cumberland, where he underwent examinations. Based on those reports, Raum ordered the boy to the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County pending his trial May 23.

The youth has been charged with two counts of reckless endangerment in the shooting April 19 at his home. The boy and three others were hanging out when he pulled out a .22-caliber rifle and waved it around. The gun was loaded with a bullet the boy had taken from a shooting range that he and his father had visited.

The gun was missing its trigger guard -- a metal strip designed to prevent accidental firing -- and discharged, striking Tanun Wichainaraphong, known as "Byrd."

The youth, who was shot in the head, died two days later. Members of his family attended the hearing, sitting quietly on the lone bench in the back of the room.

Charges in the killing are pending and will be filed "soon," said Assistant State's Attorney Keith Cave, who declined to elaborate.

The boy's attorney, George Psoras, argued that the youth should not be sent to the Hickey School, but to another facility. He argued that officials with the Department of Juvenile Justice never called the boy's psychiatrists to get other information.

"No one bothered to pick up the phone," Psoras said. "Nobody has bothered to look into who" the boy is.

Though Raum ordered the boy sent to Hickey, defense lawyers argued successfully for a chance to find another facility. They must notify Raum of any possibilities by tomorrow afternoon.

Raum said the reports prepared by Juvenile Justice officials made the situation appear even worse than at the last hearing two weeks ago, when he ordered the boy sent to the Finan Center. At that hearing, he criticized members of the family for not properly supervising the teen-ager.

"This gives me great cause for pause," Raum said, referring to the reports. He said they indicated the boy smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for three years. Defense lawyers objected to the disclosure of details in the reports and requested closing of the hearing.

Raum denied that motion, but did not reveal further information from the reports. However, he said the boy's statements to state evaluators indicated that he was involved in questionable behavior that parents should have noticed.

"He was engaged in conduct readily apparent to any sentient being," Raum said.

The boy's other attorney, Joseph Murtha, said that state psychologists didn't explore the boy's past far enough and that he might be embellishing stories. He might suffer from other behavioral disorders, Murtha said, or post-traumatic stress syndrome.

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