Judge says 16-year-old charged in Frederick Fair case will stay in juvenile court


FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — A judge announced Tuesday morning that the 16-year-old boy involved in the death of a Mount Airy man at the Great Frederick Fair will stay in juvenile court.

In a written opinion, Judge Julie Solt denied the state’s attorney’s request to waive the teen into adult court.

Last Wednesday, Solt heard from both the prosecution and defense attorney’s in the matter, and after a full day of the closed-door hearing no decision was reached.

On Tuesday, Frederick County State’s Attorney, Charlie Smith, was informed of the judge’s decision.

“Obviously, we felt differently. [The] judge ruled differently and we respect that, but we’re just going to move forward. Our job’s not done. We have to continue to press on, see that justice is done this time in the juvenile system,” Smith said.

Smith is unable to comment on the substance of the judge’s ruling but explained that in waiver hearings, the court considers the seriousness and nature of the offense, age of the defendant and more.

WDVM reached out to Stacey Steinmetz, attorney for the defendant. Steinmetz said she is unable to comment on the case as it is a closed juvenile proceeding.

A teenage defendant charged in connection with the death of 59-year-old John Weed at the Great Frederick Fair last year had a waiver hearing on Wednesday.

The judge did not make a decision whether the 16-year-old suspect will be tried as an adult or as a minor. He faces two counts of assault in connection to the incident.

Circuit Court Judge Julie Stevenson Solt will issue a written opinion on February 18, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a press release sent at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The mother and sister of Weed were in attendance throughout the proceeding. After the hearing, they referred to attorney Christopher Quasebarth for comment: “The family is of course still grieving the tragic loss of their son and brother.”

In a closed hearing at the Frederick County Courthouse, the defense and prosecution will both present arguments, and the state is expected to bring witnesses including a detective with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim’s sister and mother are also in the courtroom Wednesday and are expected to make a statement after the hearing. WDVM will be updating this article with their statement and the judge’s decision.

Photo of the victim, John Weed of Mount Airy.

Weed, of Mount Airy, Maryland, died on September 21, 2019 at a hospital after he was allegedly attacked by two teenagers at the Great Frederick Fair the previous day. Deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Weed was found lying on the ground unconscious around 5:30 p.m. and was flown to R. Cowley Adam’s Shock Trauma in Baltimore for treatment.

At a press conference on Sept. 23, 2019, Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said a 16-year-old suspect first punched Weed in the back of the head and a 15-year-old suspect delivered a deadly blow to Weed.

According to Smith, interactions between the victim and two suspects began with the suspects asking the victim for a dollar.

The 16-year-old faces two counts of second-degree assault and his 15-year-old brother were charged with manslaughter and assault.

On a GoFundMe page, Weed’s sister posted this statement: “Our lives have been changed forever due to the unprovoked vicious attack these individuals inflicted on my brother John Weed. He was my rock. We moved our parents, my daughter and my two young grandchildren to Frederick County a year ago, with the dream of living together and helping care for my aging parents.”

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