A Frederick County judge’s decision on whether a 16-year-old boy charged in last year’s fatal assault at The Great Frederick Fair is to be tried as an adult will be released later this month.
Circuit Judge Julie Stevenson Solt heard several hours of testimony in a sealed courtroom Wednesday from both the state’s attorney’s office and Stacey Steinmetz, an attorney for the boy, but no decision was made by the time court convened for the day shortly after 4 p.m. While both sides have been barred from discussing details of the case, a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office revealed that Solt had advised the attorneys that she intends to issue a written opinion on the matter on Feb. 18.
The state’s attorney’s office filed petitions on both of the teens charged, the 16-year-old and his 15-year-old brother, arguing that the teens’ cases should be tried in adult court. Neither case had been decided as of Wednesday.
The assault happened on the midway of the fairgrounds at about 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20 when, according to witness accounts and footage obtained by the sheriff’s office, the 16-year-old approached 59-year-old Mount Airy resident John Weed and asked him for a dollar. A short time later, the 16-year-old punched Weed in the back of the head, according to previous accounts provided by sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors.
Prosecutors have said the 15-year-old delivered the final blow in the assault, leading them to charge him with manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault, while his older brother was charged with two counts of second-degree assault: one for the initial assault on Weed and another for spitting on Weed after he fell to the ground.
While the teens had previously been in a juvenile detention center, the 16-year-old left the courthouse in the company of several relatives after Wednesday’s court hearing. It was not immediately clear whether the 15-year-old was still in juvenile detention as of Wednesday.
Steinmetz said neither she nor the teen and his family would make any statements Wednesday.
Several of Weed’s relatives were also present Wednesday, along with Christopher C. Quasebarth, a staff attorney with the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, who addressed media inquiries on their behalf after the hearing.
“The family is, of course, still grieving the tragic loss of their son and brother,” Quasebarth said. “And until the court reaches a decision for [the defendant], the family doesn’t have more to say at this time.”