Fair Assault Death COURTESY

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

Both teens charged in the fatal assault of a man at The Great Frederick Fair in September will remain in juvenile detention as the decision over whether they will be tried as adults continues, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The teens, brothers aged 15 and 16, appeared at a hearing before Frederick County Circuit Judge Julie Stevenson Solt. Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Wilt indicated that the waiver hearing that will determine which court the teens’ cases are heard in may not even take place before the teens’ next scheduled hearing on Dec. 18.

Wilt also argued that the teens should remain in custody for the duration of the investigation, citing the serious and violent crimes with which they are charged.

Both teens have remained in juvenile detention since Sept. 20, when Frederick County sheriff’s deputies responded to an assault on the midway of the fairgrounds at 5:36 p.m. and found 59-year-old Mount Airy resident John Weed suffering from serious injuries. Weed was flown to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for treatment, but he died from his injuries the following day, according to previous stories published in The Frederick News-Post.

The 15-year-old, who sheriff’s deputies said delivered the final blow in the assault, has since been charged with manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.

His 16-year-old brother was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, one for punching Weed in the back of the head and another for spitting on him after he fell to the ground, authorities said.

Assistant Public Defender John Maclean, who is representing the 15-year-old, did not object to his client remaining in juvenile detention, putting forward only a motion to dismiss one of the counts of second-degree assault, arguing that he believes his client was being charged with two offenses for the same crime.

Stacey Steinmetz, who represented the 16-year-old, initially asked Solt to close the courtroom to the public, citing her client’s age and concerns that media coverage of the case could complicate the selection of a jury should the case proceed to trial, as well as the fact that her client faces only two misdemeanor assault counts.

Wilt countered that while the judge could close the court at her discretion in such cases, the presumption in Maryland is that court cases remain open to the public and that attorneys frequently deal with media coverage when selecting juries for cases in adult court. Wilt also reminded Solt that, while the second-degree assault charges filed against the 16-year-old were technically misdemeanors, the charges were serious nevertheless.

“But for this defendant’s actions, that final blow might never have happened,” Wilt said. “... and you can see his actions after the fact, spitting [on Weed], are reprehensible.”

Solt ultimately ruled to keep the case open to the public and, a short time later, to continue holding the 16-year-old in juvenile detention, saying she was still “very concerned for all the circumstances involved” in the assault.

Based on the discussions in court Tuesday morning, a future hearing set to take place Dec. 18 will remain in place for the 15-year-old, with the understanding that that date could be postponed yet again. Another hearing will be scheduled to take place before the Dec. 18 hearing to determine the status of the case, but an exact date for that hearing was not set as of Tuesday morning.

In the 16-year-old’s case, Solt set a status hearing for Dec. 3.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

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

(17) comments


Pack mentality and unformed teenage brain leads to dire consequences again and again. ,


All Kids need to be kept occupied. They need direction. They need drive. They need role models. And most importantly, they need love.

Business Owner

I couldn't agree more.


One has to live with consequences of their choices. 10 to 20 years should give them time to contemplate the poor choice they made.

Alice Jones

Completely agree they need to accept the punishment for their crime however they are 15 and 16 years old. What purpose will serving 10-20 years achieve other than to continue and perpetuate the status quo that you seem to advocate? It is fact that the 'lock'em up' mentality with regards to young people is counter-productive.


So, in your world sam, do they get a "free one" because they are minors? We're not talking about shoplifting or petty vandalism here. If we were, I might agree with you. A man was killed at their hand. Commit adult crime, serve adult time.

Alice Jones

Gee, thank you for explanation, mr. horn. What would we do with out the cow whisperer? And I quote 'All Maryland dairy cows are happy cows'. Hmmmmm. what a talent. You should do reality tv. You certainly have a talent and proclivity for making stuff up. Where did I ever say free one? Did I say they should not pay for their crime. Sigh. It's tiring playing stupid games with you.


For whatever reason, the FNP moderator decided to not post my fact-based response to you. You chose to respond off-topic in this story with with snarky comments rather than the facts I presented there. OK, whatever. Here is the link so you can respond in the proper location. Yes, Maryland cows are happy cows.


By "free one" I meant a reduced sentence because of their ages. These young men were on the cusp of adulthood, and chose to violently assault a man, resulting in his death. Commit an adult crime, do the adult time.


It teaches them and others if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. Besides taking a life is serious and not a trivial matter as you make it out to be.

Alice Jones

When did I say that? Stop making things up. Please. Thank you.


What do you suggest Alice, a hug and counseling for them?

Alice Jones

It may have helped you when you were a young sprout.


Whether I was or was not hugged is irrelevant Alice. I always knew right from wrong and never did any of my actions result in someone's death.


As opposed to Donald Trump.


I agree Alice, 10-20 years is not nearly long enough.


So many destroyed lives. What a waste.


Charge as adult is my opinion. At that age these boys knew they wanted to hurt this guy, and they did. End of story.

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