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 Circuit Court judge on Wednesday sealed a status hearing for one of the two teens charged in the Sept. 20 fatal assault at The Great Frederick Fair.

Almost immediately after the case regarding the 16-year-old was called at 10:30 a.m., Stacey Steinmetz, an attorney for the boy, asked Judge Julie Stevenson Solt to close the courtroom to the public, citing what she called “confidential” information that she believed would be discussed in the hearing.

The Frederick News-Post objected to closing the hearing, but Solt agreed with Steinmetz, citing both Title 11 of the Maryland Rules of Court regarding juvenile cases as well as precedent set in Baltimore Sun Co. v. State in the Maryland Court of Appeals dating back to 1995.

In that case, the court upheld that “courts may close juvenile proceedings to the public in instances where closure would be impermissible in other court proceedings,” and that courts “may exclude the general public from a hearing, and admit only those persons having a direct interest in the proceeding and their representatives,” according to the case cited by Solt.

Both the 16-year-old and his co-defendant, his 15-year-old brother, were charged shortly after 59-year-old Mount Airy resident John Weed died from injuries he suffered in what sheriff’s deputies described as an unprovoked assault on the midway of the fairgrounds. Citing footage of the assault as well as interviews with witnesses, prosecutors say the 16-year-old approached Weed and asked him for a dollar at 5:36 p.m. Sept. 20, then punched Weed in the back of the head, starting the assault, authorities have said.

The 15-year-old, who deputies and prosecutors said delivered the final blow in the assault, was charged 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, authorities have said.

The brothers have remained in a juvenile detention center since the day of the assault and last appeared before Solt on Nov. 19. At that time, Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Wilt indicated that a waiver hearing to determine whether the teens’ cases will be heard in juvenile or adult court would likely not proceed until at least Wednesday’s hearing.

The 15-year-old appeared before Solt earlier Wednesday alongside his attorney, John Maclean, who moved to waive the teen’s right to have a detention hearing once every two weeks. Instead, Maclean opted to postpone the 15-year-old’s next hearing for roughly 30 days in order to give him enough time to schedule a convenient date for the defense’s expert witnesses to be present for a detention hearing.

Solt granted Maclean’s motion, preliminarily postponing the teen’s next appearance until Jan. 15.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

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

(14) comments

Askanidiot1223

Jesus Christ people. The reactions of the community, the media, and the police department have aggravated me so much. People are literally calling for the DEATH PENALTY! Now, no matter what the reason was, what they did is inexcusable, and there should be some legal intervention, but they’re two teenage boys who I’m sure were raised in a very chaotic situation and taught to use violence. If all you’ve ever known is violence, you are going to resort to violence. But what makes me the most mad at the community’s action is the apparent acceptance that the reason they punched that man was because he refused to give them a dollar. Come on guys. Do you really think anyone is so barbaric that they would resort to assault over a dollar? Regardless of what Weed may have done, those boys did an awful thing, but there’s definitely more to the story than the media and police are telling us. Anyone thinking hard enough could figure that out.

Reader1954

I assume the sentence will be public?

threecents

Given the extreme public emotions toward this case, it is probably a good idea for the prosecution and the defense to keep the status hearing closed to the public. Otherwise it could be a circus, and the defendants could get off on a technicality.

Whatsup

Boys doing the things of men and then cry they are being unfairly treated and are still children. Hogwash.

LeonardKeepers

i do not see the reasoning of sealing the status of this hearing.these boys did wrong and should have been charged as adults

DickD

[thumbup][thumbup]

HappySeller2014

What irony.

A man is spit on and killed in broad daylight at a crowded county fair in the midst of dozens of members of the public.

Now, when the perps are being held accountable, the public is shut out of the legal proceedings. And all of the crime is on a cell phone video.

What a sad day this is for the good people of Frederick County. Why lock us out? What should we not be allowed to know, or hear?

Comment deleted.
gabrielshorn2013

What do you mean sam? The question contains publicly available information reported in this very newspaper. Happy doesn't sound outraged, just asking questions.

Comment deleted.
sue1955

Alice, would you "support" (i.e., "defend") these boys if they were white and killed a black man? Somehow, I doubt it. And, I suspect that it is not "just" an issue with their ages in your way of thinking.

phydeaux994

If these boys were white and killed a black man, there would be no comments from the BTT(BullyTagTeam). They only comment when a crime is committed by a person of color.

search4u

As long as Maryland citizens continue to elect democrat politicians, you can expect

these kind of crimes and the circus nature of justice that follows!

Lev928

Good job by the FNP for putting up a fight against the currently corrupt and politically infected Maryland court system. Everyone knows that race was/is a factor in this case. The problem is that they want to hide that fact, and those facts would come out in open court. Juveniles committing murder is NOT open to debate, legally or politically. They should suffer the same consequences as adults. They knew what they were doing. Period.

bosco

Perhaps it should be prosecuted as a hate crime, especially since the cellphone video shows them dancing around and spitting on the guy after they knocked him down. Reverse the complexions between the perps and the victim and guess what the outcry would be.

Lev928

bosco, I agree. A hate crime charge should be added to the list.

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