Rape suspect's parents request no monitoring

Teen hurt in car crash is bedridden awaiting trial on sexual assaults

Incompetency notice filed

Relatives fear attaching bracelet on Yinger might trigger another seizure

Carroll County

April 26, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A 17-year-old Taneytown-area youth accused of raping four teen-age girls is bedridden from an automobile accident last month that caused severe brain injury, and his parents say he no longer needs to wear a court-ordered home-monitoring bracelet, according to papers filed in Carroll County Circuit Court.

Nathaniel J. Yinger of the 2800 block of Basehores Mill Road is charged with multiple counts of rape, sodomy, sexual assault and assault. The former Francis School Key High School wrestler withdrew from the school in his senior year, about a month before he was arrested and charged as an adult.

A defense motion to have Yinger tried as a juvenile was pending when he was injured about 11 a.m. March 8 after he lost control of a 1997 Subaru Impreza and hit a fence and mailboxes before overturning, according to Maryland State Police at Westminster. The accident occurred on Tyrone Road near Stone Road, northwest of Westminster.

Yinger was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore in critical condition and returned home April 6, according to the court papers. The monitoring bracelet was to have been replaced.

But Yinger has sustained severe brain injury and requires around-the-clock care, according to a defense motion asking to modify the conditions of his pretrial release, filed by attorney Fred S. Hecker. His attorney also filed a notice of incompetency to stand trial, saying Yinger cannot understand or assist in the proceedings.

Yinger weighed 150 pounds when arrested, according to charging documents. But Hecker said that since the accident, he has lost 54 pounds, is unable to walk or speak, and "is for all intents and purposes confined to a hospital bed in his parents' home."

While at the trauma center, Yinger had multiple seizures that his parents think were "brought on by agitation and anxiety," he wrote. They fear the anxiety of placing a home-detention monitoring bracelet on him might trigger a seizure.

The expense of their son's medical care and the $125-a-week cost of the monitoring program also has caused financial difficulty for his parents, Hecker said, noting that they pledged their home as security on the bail bond.

But the prosecution wants the monitoring bracelet back on, said Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore, in a written response to the defense motion.

Yinger was playing golf with two friends the day of the accident, she said, in violation of the terms of home detention.

"The defendant has already shown his inability to follow home detention rules," she wrote.

Neither the state's attorney's office nor the private home-detention service was notified of Yinger's discharge from the hospital, and neither has any way to know whether he might be able to leave in the future, Gilmore wrote, and no medical reason exists not to replace the bracelet.

A hearing has been scheduled for May 20.

Yinger was freed Nov. 2 on $50,000 bail and placed in the home-detention program by a Carroll County District Court judge, who ordered that he leave home only for counseling sessions, court dates or meetings with his attorney.

He is accused of sexually assaulting three girls at small parties at friends' homes, according to charging documents filed in October. A fourth girl, who said she knew him slightly, told police that she was raped after she let him into her Westminster home after school and they played a game of pool.

A grand jury later indicted Yinger on additional counts of second-degree rape and sexual offenses under a section of the law that covers an incapacitated or helpless victim because the other girls told the police they were intoxicated.

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