Arundel boy, 15, charged in killing of man

Victim, 49, died 2 weeks after he was hit with bat

May 20, 2008|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,SUN REPORTER

A 15-year-old Glen Burnie boy has been accused of killing a man who died more than two weeks after being struck in the head with a baseball bat during an argument.

Christian J. Schellenschlager Jr., a sophomore at Glen Burnie High School, was ordered held without bond yesterday after being arrested Friday and charged as an adult with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Police said he was among a group of youths who got into an argument with Brian Michael Myers, 49, on April 29. During the argument, police said Schellenschlager left the area and retrieved a baseball bat. Myers was struck in the head from behind with an aluminum Louisville Slugger.

Officers answering a call to the intersection of St. James and Nottingham drives in Glen Burnie about 5:10 p.m. and found Myers lying in the street, suffering from a head injury. Myers was conscious, and told paramedics that he had been hit with a bat.

According to charging documents, Schellenschlager's mother told police that her son had come home and said he struck a man with a baseball bat. She pointed to a black and green bat on the living room floor, which police seized. Police also interviewed several witnesses who said that they saw Schellenschlager hit Myers with the bat.

Myers was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, and slipped into a coma the next day, said his brother, Paul Myers, 52. Because Myers had no identification with him, relatives did not learn that he was injured until last Tuesday, and he died the next day.

At a bail review hearing yesterday at Annapolis District Court, Schellenschlager's father, Christian Schellenschlager Sr., sat with his head in his hands.

When the younger Schellenschlager appeared on a closed-circuit television feed from the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, six people approached the defense table as assistant public defender David Ashley instructed the boy not to speak to anyone.

When a woman who identified herself as Schellenschlager's mother said the family was in the process of retaining a private lawyer, District Court Judge Robert C. Wilcox responded, "He's going to need one."

He then asked the family if they wanted to say hello to the teen or ask him how he was doing, an unusual move for the typically methodical bail review process.

"Hi, Chris, we love you," each of the family members said.

"Can you hear your mother?" Wilcox asked.

Schellenschlager nodded.

"Everybody's a victim in cases like this," Wilcox said.

The family declined comment after the hearing. But in an interview with WBAL-TV, Brandy Schellenschlager said that her son told her that Myers threatened to kill him. The teenager told his mother that he thought Myers had a knife in his pocket.

"It's hard to watch your son cry and not be able to help him," she told WBAL. "I feel like if it was his intent to kill that man, he would have hit him over and over." .

Relatives of Myers said that they have been told that the argument began when Myers encountered a group of kids playing with a wheelchair, and that he told them that it was bad luck.

Sgt. Richard Alban, of the Anne Arundel County Police homicide division, said he could not discuss the motive.

Police said that Myers did not have a fixed address, although family members said that a half-brother lives on Saint James Drive.

Court records show Myers was being sought on a warrant for an assault in February and has been arrested nearly 50 times since 1989, mostly for trespassing and drinking in public.

Debbie Callen, who dated Myers for more than 20 years until about a year ago, said he struggled throughout his life with alcohol, a problem which drove them apart.

She said Myers was born in the Odenton area and worked in home improvement and had lost many close family members.

"He was an alcoholic, but he was a giving person; if he could help anybody, he would have," said Callen, 57. "I just can't understand why somebody would do something like this."

Myers is the third homicide victim in Anne Arundel County this year, and two of the cases have netted an arrest. There were 12 killings last year.

Schellenschlager is the latest area youth to be accused in a high-profile crime in recent months. Last week, a 16-year-old Towson boy was charged with beating his mother to death with a baseball bat in a dispute over grades and is charged with also attempting to kill his father. In February, a 15-year-old Cockeysville boy was charged with fatally shooting hisparents and two younger brothers as they slept.

In October, a 15-year-old Crownsville boy was charged along with a 42-year-old man in the shooting death of a drug dealer, whose body was set on fire inside of a car.

Police said the the two accused then headed to the man's house to smoke crack.

"It's just sad," said Beverly Smith, Myers' aunt. "These young kids, it's all you're hearing on the news, these brutal attacks."

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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