Third teen indicted in Glenelg hate crimes case goes before judge

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

The third of the four former Glenelg High School students charged with hate crimes after swastikas and racial epithets were found scrawled on the school’s grounds in late May made his first appearance in court this morning following his indictment by a grand jury.

Tyler Curtiss, 18, of Brookeville, appeared briefly before Howard County Circuit Court Judge Richard S. Bernhardt with his lawyer Mark Muffoletto.

Curtiss, wearing a sky blue shirt, a red tie and black dress pants, Curtiss addressed Bernhardt as “sir” as the charges against him were read and reviewed.

Curtiss did not make a plea and Bernhardt set a second hearing for Nov. 19 and scheduled a trial for Dec. 18.

Muffoletto declined comment after the appearance.

Curtiss, Joshua Shaffer of Mount Airy, Seth Taylor of Glenwood and Matthew Lipp of Woodbine, all face seven-count indictments, including three hate-crime charges. Lipp, 18, has an initial appearance scheduled later this month.

Shaffer and Taylor, both 18, appeared in court last week and neither made a plea. Bernhardt scheduled their second hearings for Oct. 17 and trials for Nov. 28.

Joe Murtha, Shaffer’s lawyer, did not reply to requests for comment and Debra Saltz, Taylor’s lawyer, declined to comment.

The four have graduated from Glenelg High School, according to a county schools spokesman.

They each face three counts related to race or religious harassment, two trespassing charges and two destruction of property-related charges, according to a court records and a state’s attorney indictment summary. The charges are misdemeanors.

On May 24, swastikas and racial epithets, including one that Howard County police said targeted the school’s African-American principal, were found painted on the school’s campus sidewalks, parking lot and exterior walls, during a morning awards ceremony for Glenelg graduating seniors.

Police said that the four were identified by images from school surveillance cameras.

The four, who were released on their own recognizance, were ordered not to leave the state without a judge’s permission and to notify the court of any address change.

jnocera@baltsun.com

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