Teen accused in racial attack to be tried in juvenile court

December 12, 2009|By Brent Jones | brent.jones@baltsun.com

One of the two boys accused of beating a 76-year-old black fisherman in a racially charged incident at a city park will have his case transferred to juvenile court, a Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled Friday.

Lawyers for Emmanuel Miller, 16, argued that the boy did not take part in the beating of James Privott and that, if found responsible in the attack, he could be rehabilitated in the juvenile system. Miller could be placed in an out-of-state program until he turns 18.

Miller and Zachary Watson, now 18, are charged along with Calvin E. Lockner, a 27-year-old registered sex offender, in the August attack on Privott, who was fishing at Fort Armistead Park in South Baltimore.

Watson will continue to face charges in the adult system, according to Judge David W. Young's ruling. Court testimony revealed that Watson had twice been removed from inpatient juvenile programs for disruptive behavior. Watson was first arrested at age 12 and found guilty of burglary, according to testimony.

Miller was first arrested at age 10 after breaking into an elementary school, according to court testimony. Miller was expelled from elementary school and middle school.

The lawyer for Miller said in court Friday that the boy stood about 20 feet away as Lockner, a white supremacist, attacked Privott from behind. Privott suffered a fractured eye socket and lost three teeth.

Police say Lockner later told investigators that the attack "wouldn't have happened if [Privott] was a white man."

Charging documents say that the three defendants then stole Privott's vehicle.

In the two-hour court hearing, Privott said he continues to have soreness and pain from the assault.

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