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Werdesheim trial postponed a sixth time

Justice SystemShomrim

The trial of Avi and Eliyahu Werdesheim, Baltimore brothers charged with assault and false imprisonment for allegedly beating a black teenager in 2010 while members of Shomrim, a Jewish patrol group, was postponed for a sixth time Wednesday, the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office announced.

The trial was set to begin Thursday, but is now scheduled for April 23. One of the defendants is ill, according to the city prosecutor's office. All of the delays have been at the request of the defense, a spokesman said.

Several postponements were granted because a defense attorney wasn't available on the chosen dates, and others were granted to allow the defense team more time for investigation, according to earlier interviews with the defense lawyers.

According to court records, the brothers, who have pleaded not guilty, assaulted a 15-year-old high school student, who was armed with a stick, in Northwest Baltimore on Nov. 19, 2010.

Police charging documents claim that Eliyahu Werdesheim, now 24, told the boy, "you don't belong around here," and struck him in the head with a radio after another man — later identified as Avi Werdesheim, now 21 — threw the boy to the ground. One of the teen's wrists was broken, police said.

The brothers were members of Shomrim, an Orthodox Jewish citizens group that patrols parts of Northwest Baltimore. At a hearing in January, Eliyahu's attorney, Andrew Alperstein, said his client no longer participates in Shomrim.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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