Probation For Teen In Odenton Firebombing

August 28, 2009|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

The woman whose townhouse was firebombed June 3 in retaliation for the homicide of a Crofton teenager said Thursday that the family has been so traumatized by the blaze that even after they moved, they feel uneasy and their younger child wakes up at night terrified of every sound.

"They took from us the most important thing, our peace of mind," Slavica Mahmutagic told Anne Arundel County Juvenile Court Master John F. Gunning during a hearing Thursday in which the 16-year-old driver of the car involved - the only one in the vehicle who knew where in Odenton the family lived - was placed on probation for first-degree arson. "They will never be able to reimburse me for that," she said.

Despite citing financial hardship, the parents of the teenager, who must also complete 100 hours of community service, were ordered to pay the maximum restitution allowed in juvenile court, $10,000, most of which will go toward the property's insurer.

The sleeping family was awakened by their dog's barking at the 3:15 a.m. fire. No one was hurt, but the front of the home was charred.

The 16-year-old said he was remorseful and pleaded for forgiveness, saying that he wants to try to resume a friendship with her older son, who, erroneously, had been the target of the of the Molotov cocktail.

Mahmutagic bluntly replied that "I, as a parent, don't want my son around kids like you."

Police have said that her son had no role in the May 30 homicide of Christopher Jones, who died after police said he was beaten by a group of teens while riding his bicycle. Assistant State's Attorney Kimberly DiPietro said Mahmutagic's older son had been sent to live elsewhere shortly after the beating death because of threats against him and was not in the family home at the time of the firebombing.

The driver's name is not being published by The Baltimore Sun because he is a juvenile. Arguing against DiPietro's request to send the youth to a detention center, defense lawyer Stacie Wollman said the incident was an anomaly for her client, who had not been in trouble before and was intimidated by one of the other people charged in the firebombing, Jonathan Myers, 22, of Crofton.

After the hearing, the driver's mother as well as Mahmutagic said they felt Gunning was fair, though Mahmutagic had said in court she agreed with DiPietro's request for detention. Immediately after his arrest, the driver spent 51 days in detention, which Wollman said was an "eye-opener for him."

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