5 charged in teen's death surrender

April 25, 2007|By Greg Garland | Greg Garland,sun reporter

Five of the six former counselors at Bowling Brook Preparatory School who were indicted last week on charges stemming from the death of an East Baltimore teenager were processed at Carroll County Central Booking yesterday and released on their own recognizance, officials said.

Each has been charged with a single count of reckless endangerment in connection with the death Jan. 23 of Isaiah Simmons, 17, at the privately run school for juvenile offenders. The charge is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The counselors pinned Simmons to the ground face down during a restraint that lasted about three hours before he passed out and died, authorities have said. A grand jury indictment accused them of waiting 41 minutes to summon an ambulance for Simmons, who was unresponsive and needed medical attention, prosecutors said.

The five men who were booked yesterday surrendered to sheriff's deputies through their attorneys, said Lt. Phil Kasten, a Carroll County sheriff's office spokesman. A sixth is to surrender later.

Those booked yesterday were Mark Richard Sainato, 36, and Shadi Sabbagh, 33, both of Keymar; Jason Willie Robinson, 25, of Westminster; Brian Gerard Kanavy, 31, of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; and Michael Paul Corradi, 31, of Middletown, Pa. A sixth counselor, Dennis Harding, 31, of Baltimore, is to surrender this week.

A lawyer for one of the counselors questioned whether criminal charges were warranted. "This is a tragedy across the board," said Scott L. Rolle, a former Frederick County state's attorney who represents Sabbagh. "Certainly my client feels that way. But to charge these guys criminally?"

Rolle said that Sabbagh, who cooperated with authorities, has spent his career helping young people. "He's a stellar person, and we look forward to proving his innocence," he said.

greg.garland@baltsun.com

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