Fair Assault Death COURTESY

Police activity seen from the Ferris wheel at The Great Frederick Fair shortly after the deadly assault in September.

A Frederick County judge on Tuesday denied a request by prosecutors to try the 16-year-old boy charged in a fatal assault at The Great Frederick Fair as an adult, according to a press release from the county state’s attorney’s office.

The 16-year-old was the first of two brothers charged in the Sept. 20 death of 59-year-old Mount Airy resident John Weed to have his waiver hearing in Circuit Court, standing before Judge Julie Stevenson Solt in a daylong hearing in a sealed courtroom on Feb. 12. While Solt has not addressed the case publicly, the state’s attorney’s office released a statement after last week’s hearing indicating Solt had elected to issue her decision in a written statement Tuesday.

The 16-year-old 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, according to stories published previously by The Frederick News-Post.

The teen’s case has been sealed to the public since Dec. 18, and Solt’s decision was not made public Tuesday. However, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith issued a brief statement announcing the judge’s decision and later answered several questions.

“We argued differently, obviously, but we respect the judge’s decision and remain committed to prosecuting the case moving forward,” Smith said.

One difference between juvenile and adult courts is that sentences in juvenile courts are not given in a term of years, according to Smith, who explained that, in theory, youth committed in the juvenile system can remain in a facility only until they turn 21.

Smith was barred from commenting on the substance of Solt’s findings, but he confirmed that his office was able to disclose the decision and said he remains committed to issuing similar updates on scheduling and future steps in litigation made in the case. Smith also stood by his office’s decision to file a similar motion in the case of the 15-year-old co-defendant in the case who was charged with manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.

Smith said a number of factors were weighed before he and his prosecutors decided to file the waiver motions to try the juveniles as adults.

“The first and foremost is the serious nature of the offense as well as public safety, and we felt that, given the very serious nature of the charge and the violence involved, that they deserved to be tried as adults,” Smith said.

Prosecutors have said the 15-year-old landed the final blow in the assault, which happened on the midway at the fair shortly after the 16-year-old approached Weed to ask him for a dollar. The older boy then punched Weed in the back of the head, according to previous accounts relayed by sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors.

Stacey Steinmetz, an attorney representing the 16-year-old, could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the judge’s decision.

The 15-year-old’s case was also sealed before his own waiver hearing, which is scheduled to take place later this week.

Relatives of Weed have been present at several previous hearings, including last week’s waiver hearing, and have secured representation from the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center Inc. Christopher C. Quasebarth, an attorney with the resource center, said the family did not have a statement following last week’s hearing, expressing their desire to wait until the judge issued her decision.

Neither Quasebarth nor a relative of Weed’s who has previously spoken to the media had returned a News-Post reporter’s attempts to reach them for comment as of Tuesday afternoon.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(95) comments

phydeaux994

1st and 2nd degree murder and voluntary manslaughter must have an intent to kill. And since this kid was not the one that hit the man and caused his death I’m not sure if he would even be charged with involuntary manslaughter? We will see how the judge rules on his brother who was the one who blindsided Mr. Weed and caused his death. Even then he would probably be charged with involuntary manslaughter since there was no intent to kill. Only my opinion based on my understanding of the degrees of causing a death.

mrnatural1

phydeaux,

I don't even play a lawyer on TV, but my understanding is that manslaughter of either type does not involve intent to kill. The difference between "voluntary" and "involuntary" is that involuntary manslaughter is the result of an accident -- perhaps caused by negligence or recklessness -- whereas voluntary manslaughter is death resulting from an intent to cause *harm* -- but without an intent to kill. For example a bar fight in which someone dies.

It seems "voluntary manslaughter is the appropriate charge in this case, since there was no intent to kill but the actions leading to the victim's death were intentional, The sentence could be blended (if MD allows that) so that it is served initially in juvenile detention and then in adult prison.

I may be wrong. I just did some more reading and it looks like Maryland law deviates from that of most other states. Apparently, what MD refers to as "voluntary" manslaughter would be considered 2nd degree murder in other states -- "heat of passion"/provoked murder. There is *intent* to kill.

Near as I can tell, this assault and death that is the subject of this article is considered involuntary manslaughter under Maryland law. Check this out and see what you make of it:

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/maryland-law/maryland-involuntary-manslaughter-law.html

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
HappySeller2014

I am so glad I have been on well water all my life. From a deep, deep well.

DickD

https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/age-of-reason

The judge may not know the age of reason, but the Catholic Church clearly defines it.  

"The age of Reason, the name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally responsible. This, as a rule, happens at the age of seven, or thereabouts, though the use of reason requisite for moral discernment may come before, or may be delayed until notably after, that time. At this age Christians come under the operation of ecclesiastical laws, such as the precept of assistance at Mass on Sundays and holy days, abstinence from meat on certain days, and annual confession, should they have incurred mortal sin. The obligation of Easter Communion, literally understood, applies to all who have reached “the years of discretion”; but according to the practical interpretation of the Church it is not regarded as binding children just as soon as they are seven years old. At the age of reason a person is juridically considered eligible to act as witness to a marriage, as sponsor at baptism or confirmation, and as a party to the formal contract of betrothal; at this age one is considered capable of receiving extreme unction, of being promoted to first tonsure and minor orders, of being the incumbent of a simple benefice (beneficium simplex) if the founder of it should have so provided; and, lastly, is held liable to ecclesiastical censures. In the present discipline, however, persons do not incur these penalties until they reach the age of puberty, unless explicitly included in the decree imposing them. The only censure surely applicable to persons of this age is that for the violation of the clausura of nuns, while that for the maltreatment, suadente diabolo, of clerics, is probably so.JOSEPH F. DELANY"

KellyAlzan

U expect me too read all that?

KellyAlzan

You SERIOUSLY expect me to read ALL that?

DickD

Only if you want to know the age of reason. Which is considered to be 7 years old.

gary4books

The only cases that I see where they want to try children as adults are well publicized and many just want some degree of "revenge."

HappySeller2014

If accountability and just punishment are not metted out here, my family of five will never attend the GFF ever again. And, I believe thousands of my fellow Frederick County friends, relatives and neighbors will act the same and cease attending.

If this situation is not handled in a just manner, the GFF, the vendors, and the entire county will suffer. If just a slap on the wrist here, or incarceration and records allowed to be expunged at age 21, what is the deterrant for any other young folks to kill someone again at the GFF? Over just 50 cents next time?

sevenstones1000

More cancel culture, Happy.

DickD

I think what you state is a safe recommendation, but how is the Fair responsible for what the judge did? Now, I do agree with your outrage and would prefer the man be tried as an adult, but the blame for not trying him as an adult is not the Fair's fault.

HappySeller2014

I do not visit overseas countries on my vacations that do not have firm laws and good court systems that hold people accountable. Otherwise, you are either in a puppet state or the wild, wild west.

If that is what the GFF has become, I would want no part of it. Kill and spit on a man over a dollar at ages 15 and 16, and not tried as an adult or held in detention? No thank you - not interested in being in an environment that would allow that to become an actionable outcome.

KellyAlzan

As long as no one releases any balloons into the galaxy all is well

gabrielshorn2013

No plumbum, just here on earth.

KellyAlzan

meanwhile.....our state legislature is wasting time and energy on NON-ENFORCABLE balloon laws.....

gabrielshorn2013

Most non-violent offenses are not 100% enforceable plumbum. Think speeding, littering, jaywalking, etc. Shall we not have such laws then? There are victims of balloon releases, marine creatures that mistake them for jellyfish, and then die a horrible death.

HappySeller2014

Gabby, how horrible?

gabrielshorn2013

If you read the references I provided you with earlier "counselor you would know.

sevenstones1000

I pray for everyone affected by this terrible, foolish, heartbreaking tragedy. Another eye for another eye leaves everybody blind. Would I have the grace and the strength to forgive? I don’t know.

HappySeller2014

Well seven, just do not be the person that takes out the first eye and eveyone will be all right. Correct?

sevenstones1000

Is that what Jesus said? Did He say “Love your enemies” or did He say “Just don’t be my enemy and everyone will be all right.”

Think about it. You don’t make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemies. You don’t forgive people who haven’t hurt you, you forgive those who have.

gabrielshorn2013

Yes, that was Jesus' statement seven. However, forgiveness is different than not punishing a misdeed. You can punish someone and forgive them at the same time. We do it all the time with our kids as they are growing up to punish bad behavior and instruct them on proper behavior, all the while still loving them.

DickD

Okay, we shouldn't go by Hammurabi's code, but why do Christians have heaven and hell?

gabrielshorn2013

Dunno dick, you tell me.

HappySeller2014

Problem here is the poor guy who was hit in the head and spat on cannot forgive his attackers. He is dead.

You can forgive your enemies. But you should also never forget about them, and make sure they are disciplined and held accountable when they take out the first eye.

HappySeller2014

I must admit seven, I like "“Just don’t be my enemy and everyone will be all right.”

Kinda parallels another mantra I live by. "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

DickD

I don't know either, but does he show remorse? And spitting on him added insult to injury and it this case the injury is irreversible.

MD1756

Time to rethink the laws. If students are adult enough to vote on the school board (as proposed), then maybe they are adult enough to stand trial for murder. You can't have you're cake and eat it too.

awteam2000

Not following your logic? They are standing trial for murder just as an adult would, but sentenced as a juvenile.

HappySeller2014

So at age 21 everything can be expunged? For a callous murder?

awteam2000

There is no typical juvenile sentence for someone who is found guilty of a juvenile crime. A juvenile sentence can range from several hours of community service to two weeks in a non-secure juvenile detention facility to years in a secure juvenile detention facility followed by years in a state or federal prison.

It more then likely they will both serve in juvenile detention facilities until the age of 21. Then receive additional punitive actions.

Expungement isn’t likely in murder cases unless there were extreme extenuating circumstances.

DickD

https://thedailyrecord.com/2019/06/03/md-court-individualized-sentencing-not-needed-for-juvenile-lifers-with-parole/"Maryland judges can sentence juveniles convicted of murder to life in prison with the chance for parole without first considering the killer’s youth and related circumstances, the state’s second-highest court has ruled. Such individualized considerations are required only before a judge sentences a juvenile to the state’s ultimate punishment -- life without parole – because that ... "

DickD

aw, what you are saying is for minor violations of law, not murder.

MD1756

The logic is for all those who think students are adult enough to be given the right to vote on matters that can cause an expenditure of tax payers dollars (which is the direction we are heading even if not there yet), then they at the same age, should be adult enough to be punished as adults when they commit crimes (but I doubt those that want to give them the right to vote would go along with that which would make their position illogical).

threecents

I don't think the student member should be allowed to vote.

des21

Are you disappointed at the general lack of vitriol 3? It's like you were ghoulishly rubbing your hands together in anticipation of some type of racial slug fest that never happened. Sorry to disappoint.

Perhaps Bernie Sanders' supporters will attack a few more of his opponent's supporters tonight. Always a good time right? Never reported, but always a good time. Now if they were Trump supporters.....fugetaboutit.

threecents

Des, You left out my evil laughter.

threecents

We got some good vitriol now here and with Patricia Wellers column.[censored]

des21

Didn't see it. I always appreciate a good maniacal laugh though.

mrnatural1

So much vitriol that the comments have been disabled.

I think it's a shame when that happens. It rewards the obnoxious trolls, and punishes those who took the time to post thoughtful comments.

I know it's much easier said than done, but it sure would be nice if, instead of deleting entire comment sections, the moderators would delete offensive posts and/or ban users that routinely violate the rules.

That's how forums work -- they do not delete entire threads, they ban the users that break the rules.

I continue to hope that the FNP will switch to a forum format. It would boost their page views and be much more user friendly.

mgoose806

These two criminals have destroyed their lives and their families too. No consequences result in repeating same action again.

dancing donna

Agreed.

Comment deleted.
kauaicuda

cant decide if this is sarcasm or not, and thats scary.

penelopedevereux

This was murder. This was not an 'immature act'. I really do not understand how the judge was able to come up with this decision.

KellyAlzan

the unfortunate decision comes from Maryland law. I do not like the decision, but it was explained in an article in the FNP a dew months ago that the killers would most likely NOT be tried as adults. because of the law.

but hey - ron young is too busy writing bills for non-legitiment crap.

sullivanjord

Sadly but true, This kids today just doesn't respected anything or anyone. And they all should be held for they wrong. Because of the age difference so may not get the help they needed to its to late.

rmaghan1

100% correct, most Maryland laws are this way. Protect the criminal and remove the right to defend yourself. All this while paying ridiculous taxes, terrible traffic because of over development and yes, senators like Ron Young at the helm....it’s a disgrace

Comment deleted.
threecents

And there we go.[ban]

Lev928

Anyone that knows Maryland juvenile criminal law ... or has any experience dealing with it ... should not be surprised by this decision. Especially now. Politics and Democratic liberal corruption in Maryland has long played a role in this exact circumstance. He could certainly be tried as an adult under Maryland law and the rules of the court (the so-called bench book). However, the current political atmosphere is against it. Remember, judges in Maryland are elected and appointed, either by locality or the governor depending on the court in which they preside. This criminal, regardless of age is, beyond a thug by definition. He's a violent criminal. Period. He should be prosecuted the same as an adult. Murder is murder.

gabrielshorn2013

Have to agree Lev. The "revolving door of justice" is in full swing with this case. This is the same problem in Baltimore, where the police arrest violent perps, the DDAs undercharge to make sure their conviction rate is high, and the judges under sentence for whatever reason, allowing murderers to get out in a fraction of the potential sentence. The Governor, Baltimore Mayor, and police chief(s) have been complaining about this for years. The judges even refuse to meet with the Governor to discuss the situation. Why is this allowed to continue?

Alice Jones

Lev/Gabe, given this ruling, what kind of punishment will they be facing?

Lev928

Prosecuted as a juvenile, he can spend time in a juvenile jail until he's 21. Probation, etc. Not much else. Maybe mental health treatment. Much less than prosecuted as an adult for murder in Maryland.

gabrielshorn2013

It depends on the judge Alice. However, the juvenile records can be sealed or expunged after the minor turns 21, and applies for expungement.

https://www.mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/juveniledelinquency

Alice Jones

There is no exception to the 21 year 'rule'?

Lev928

Thank you. Maryland should create laws and "bench books" that respond to the crisi in Baltimore. It can be held and executed as an example throughout the state.

rmaghan1

Sad but true. I suspect both will be right back in the system when they walk @ 21 so there is some hope. What kind of thug spits on someone they just killed? Terrible human beings

dancing donna

Unless they find Jesus, and we should all pray they do, they will be released and instead of "fighting" with fists, they will have graduated to guns, knives, etc. We will be paying for their prison career time.

dancing donna

Agreed. Lack of justice is dishonorable to the Weed family. Lack of justice sends a message to all juvenille criminals that this kind of violent "behavior" is acceptable. The entire county felt the weight of this horrible act of murder. Our family was there when it happened. It was handled poorly then and it continues to be handled poorly now. We need people in place that make laws defending the rights of the innocent MORE than defending the rights of the criminals. It is so backwards and bc of this we are loosing our freedoms. Our freedoms to relax in public places for concern these types of "fun" activities are permissible. Our family will never return to the not so "Great" Frederick fair in the future.

awteam2000

“ Lack of justice sends a message to all juvenille criminals that this kind of violent "behavior" is acceptable.” Really? Who are all these juvenile criminals receiving messages that assault leading to ones death is a good idea?

Dwasserba

Always be aware of your surroundings.

DickD

Even under juvenile law he can be sentenced to life without parole, see my comment above.

MD1756

There are efforts under way to eliminate that as cruel and unusual punishment. According to the ACLU "The Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that juveniles convicted of murder cannot be subject to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Twenty nine states currently have such laws...."

huskycats

Well Phy, thanks for trying. You and Joey are good people.

KellyAlzan

Bear in mind that it was announced months ago that it would be unlikely the teens will be charged as adults. And it was explained why.

Unfortunately, Maryland’s laws did not foresee such and event occurring and the laws fall short. The law is the law.

Personally, I want the brothers charged as adults. But, that’s not how MD law is established.

Now ponder this::

Here we have a teen that killed a man in front of all the world to see. He’ll get a slap on the wrist. But in the meantime, a man is in jail because his former girlfriend made up a lie and told police that her boyfriend sexually abused her sons. Her now adult sons are saying the abuse never happened.

mrnatural1

Kelly,

Just curious -- what makes you think that one or both boys will "get a slap on the wrist"?

IDK if it applies in Maryland or not, but there is such a thing as a blended sentence:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/juvenile-court-sentencing-options-32225.html

"Juvenile and adult jail. In some jurisdictions, judges can send delinquent juveniles to a juvenile facility, and then order transfer to an adult facility once the juvenile reaches the age of majority. When a minor is ordered to serve time in both a juvenile and adult facility, it is called a "blended sentence.""

Lev928

The law doesn't fall short in Maryland ... politically appointed and elected judges do.

KellyAlzan

i'm not sure why my response was deleted. my response derives from an article that the FNP had written and published regarding THIS incident and case a few months ago.

my background / profession / education are not in context. The law does fall short. just 5 simple words. And the article at hand is all the proof.

Thewheelone

Kelly,Maybe your comment was deleted because FNP staff did not think it up to par with your self appointed, silly, "Lead Commenter" meme...

KellyAlzan

It’s a badge.

Greg F

Bare

rmaghan1

Right again- the laws in the People’s Republic of Maryland help the criminal and hurt the citizen. I’m not sure about the case you reference but doesn’t surprise me if that’s the case

rmaghan1

Mr Natural- because they can only he held until 21 and then have their records expunged like it never happened (except for security clearance). I believe that is about a standard definition and example of a slap on the wrist as one can get is it not?

Joey Pesto

If they are juveniles then they need to be tried as a juvenile not an adult. The judge made the proper decision.

gary4books

Joey - You are correct. It was an immature act and should be treated as such.

Lev928

Murder is an "immature act"? Interesting, Gary. Is rape, arson, assault and other violent crimes an "immature act" as well? By YOUR definition, every crime is an "immature act" and a criminal should fall under the juvenile court system regardless of age. Better go get some real world experience in laws, crime and the justice system.

KR999

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Lev. I can't believe anyone in their right mind would refer to someone's murder as an "immature act."

Thewheelone

I think Gary meant an act by an immature person.

gary4books

I suggest that children who engage in violence are not "mature adults" and need to "grow up." We have special rules for younger people for this reason and cases like this.

rmaghan1

Same to you Gary, if you lived in the real world, would you say the same thing if your family member was the one taken by the “immature act”? Get real

gary4books

Do you think my need for revenge will be stronger than my need for common sense? You may be right. I hope not.

JohnSchaeffer1

Immature act ! Are you kidding me ! Unbelievable that someone would imply murder was just kids being kids !

threecents

[thumbup]It is what it is.

Lev928

Wrong. That is not Maryland law nor the court "bench book".

rmaghan1

Would you feel the same if it was your loved one’s life that was taken? Be honest

phydeaux994

This will break the comment record, both for number and venom. Please people, think before you post.

threecents

Yup, the moderators will likely delete all the comments pretty soon.

Lev928

Exactly ... especially at the New FNP. Hide the facts and report the (alleged) journalist's opinion.

threecents

Nope, not at all. The old FNP and the new FNP have generally blocked comments on violent crime stories once the comments get insensitive or our of hand, racially or otherwise.

Lev928

Fair enough, threecents.

Samanthapowers

[thumbup]

mrnatural1

Agreed phydeaux, people need post responsibly and keep the rules in mind.

When things get out of hand, the moderator(s) will sometimes disable the comment section and delete all existing comments. The result is that those that have taken the time to post thoughtful comments are punished, and the trolls are rewarded (to the extent their goal was to shut down the discussion).

rmaghan1

That’s what I love about you Libby’s, once your read something you don’t like you can’t leave it alone because no one is entitled to their opinion unless it s your opinion. So you start telling people what to post and what not to post, what to feel and what not to feel.

Alice Jones

And your response is what I despise about sycophants. Sad.

awteam2000

Rmaghan1,

You shouldn’t give “Libby’s all the credit, “ civility” has been around for a long time. Civility comes from the Latin word civilatis. During the Roman Empire the term only applied to men of higher status called ‘Civilis’. The term denoted the privileged state of being a citizen and hence good citizenship and orderly behavior shared between those of equal status. In the mid-16th century the term was used to describe a new sense of politeness towards follow members of the community.

Just sayin 🤷‍♂️

Civility today means “you can disagree without being disagreeable”.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] phy. Please, no trolls. Keep it civil.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

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