FREDERICK, Md. — A 15-year-old juvenile convicted of a 2019 deadly attack at the Great Frederick Fair, was ordered to spend time at a long-term behavioral modification program.
On September 20 John Weed was out at the fair with his family, when the teen and a friend asked him for a dollar. After telling them no, the teens kept pursuing Weed despite family members begging for them to stop and leave him alone.
As Weed tried walking away, the suspect's 16-year-old brother got involved and hit Weed twice. The 15-year-old then ran back toward Weed and punched him "with such force, the photos indicate he had lost consciousness almost immediately," prosecutors say.
Weed never regained consciousness and died the next day at Shock Trauma in Baltimore. Witness accounts revealed no racial slurs were used during the attack.
Initially the State filed a waiver with the court requesting that both brothers be charged and tried as adults. The Court denied both motions.
On April 29, the 15-year-old pleaded guilty to juvenile charges of manslaughter. The State's Attorney's Office recommended that he only be placed in a long-term behavioral modification program as punishment.
Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. called the incident “a flat out horrible case,” and described the attack as an “unprovoked sucker punch," but still agreed to the prosecutors sentencing recommendation.
“In the juvenile system, this is the best we can do for the family. It’s also what is right at this time for the offender given his status as a juvenile," said said State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. Nothing will bring back their loved one, but I hope that they can begin to heal a little more now that this part is behind them."
Weed's family attended Friday's hearing by video conference.
Until he's placed in a program, the teen will remain in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services.
On July 8, the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to second degree assault for his involvement. Like his brother, the state says they will look to place him into a behavioral program as punishment as well.