Teen suspect called incompetent

Lawyer says youth charged in Crownsville killing is retarded

August 08, 2008|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,Sun reporter

A teenage boy charged as an adult with murder in the shooting death of a man in an apparent drug deal and robbery plot is not competent to stand trial because he is mentally retarded, his lawyer said yesterday.

Defense attorney Carroll McCabe entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of her client, Ross Ethan Womick, 16, and filed a motion asserting that he is not competent yesterday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

"There's been testing, and, based on that testing, he's not competent due to mental retardation," McCabe said after the hearing, declining to elaborate.

Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II ordered Womick, who was 15 at the time of the crime, committed to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for an evaluation.

The judge ordered the evaluation to take place within two weeks.

Womick, a ninth-grader at Old Mill High School, was charged in November, along with Wayne Lewis Milburn Sr., 42, with first-degree murder in the killing of Krey Jermaine Green, 23 in Crownsville. Womick has been held in jail since his arrest.

Police said the teen brought the handgun and Milburn pulled the trigger in the Oct. 27 shooting. The teenager and the older man had hatched a plan to kill the alleged drug dealer, according to police.

After shooting Green, they robbed him, drove his Lexus into nearby woods and set it on fire in the 700 block of Herald Harbor Road, police said.

The pair then headed to Milburn's house and smoked crack cocaine, police said. Green's skeletal remains were discovered Oct. 30 in his car.

After yesterday's hearing, Womick's mother, Cindy Womick, said of her son, "He's upset. He feels very remorseful for this. I just don't think he understands."

The judge set hearings for next month to revisit the competency issue and a defense motion to move Womick's case from adult court to the juvenile court system.

Prosecutor Jennifer M. Alexander said she would oppose McCabe's competency motion and the request for a transfer to juvenile court.

"Obviously, the way it's shaping up at this point, it's going to be a battle of the experts," McCabe said.

If Womick's case moves to juvenile court, and he is found responsible, the equivalent of a guilty finding in adult court, he could be held by the Department of Juvenile Services until he is 21.

Womick's trial is scheduled for Oct. 6. Milburn is set to go on trial Oct. 28.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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