Teen to be tried as juvenile in friend's death

Annapolis boy charged in fatal shooting has been on probation twice for assault

September 28, 2005|By ANDREA F. SIEGEL | ANDREA F. SIEGEL,SUN REPORTER

A 15-year-old Annapolis boy charged in the fatal shooting of his older friend will face trial as a juvenile early next year, despite prosecutors' claim that he has gotten into trouble while supervised by juvenile courts.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Nancy Davis-Loomis rejected this week a prosecution move to try the teenager in adult court on charges of manslaughter and related counts in the Aug. 2 death of Temont "Tay Tay" Fisher, 20, of Annapolis.

The main difference in how he is tried lies in what might happen if he is found to have killed Fisher in the Robinwood public-housing community. Adult prison offers little rehabilitation and potentially a shorter stay. Juveniles can be sent to residential centers that are supposed to focus on education and rehabilitation, and judges can order juvenile commitments until the age of 21.

"The court candidly has more control in those circumstances than if he is sent to the Department of Corrections," Davis-Loomis said.

"What I have here are two bad options," she said.

The Sun does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.

Sandra Foy Howell, an assistant state's attorney, argued that despite efforts to help the teenager, he gets into trouble and does not do what he is told.

According to Howell, since he was 12 years old, the teenager has been placed on probation twice for assault. In March 2004, he was sent to the Langworthy House group home in Prince George's County after driving without a license. While on a pass visiting his grandmother, he was caught with drugs, earning a second commitment. A day before his release from Langworthy, the teenager was accused of trespassing and disrupting school activities, she said.

This year, she said, he defied juvenile court orders to attend school and take medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He also cut off his home monitoring ankle bracelet.

Also, several charges have been handled by juvenile case workers, including assault, theft and disturbing school activities. Others, including auto theft, were placed on hold. Another assault charge is scheduled for trial in juvenile court before his scheduled January trial on the manslaughter charge.

But assistant public defender Kimber Lee Davis argued against trying her client as an adult.

"`When did we start throwing away 15-year-olds?' I suppose is my question," Davis said.

She said the teenager did well in the group home, and juvenile services officials said they believe his problems could be addressed in a highly structured out-of-state residential center for troubled youths.

He has been in the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County since his Aug. 3 arrest for what Davis said was an unintentional shooting.

He was born crack-addicted and has been raised in the Newtowne 20 public housing complex by his grandmother, Davis said.

Police suspect that Fisher took the teenager and perhaps two others to settle a score in Robinwood and that Fisher was shot in the neck. Police who were in Robinwood responding to complaints about a loud party were called to where Fisher lay dying.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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