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Monkton teen accused in Carver Center plot will be tried as juvenile

A Monkton teenager who was initially charged as an adult and accused of planning to attack his Towson high school will be tried in juvenile court.

Alexander "Sash" Nemphos, 17, was arrested in November after Baltimore County police said they found homemade explosive devices and a stolen gun in his bedroom. Authorities said they also discovered a journal in which Nemphos allegedly wrote about plans to kill his parents and people at his school, the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.

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At a hearing in Baltimore County Circuit Court this week, Judge Vicki Ballou-Watts granted a defense motion to transfer the case to the juvenile system. Prosecutors agreed with the decision, according to Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Nemphos' lawyer, Joe Murtha.

Nemphos was charged with counts including possession of a destructive device, theft and handgun violations.

Murtha said Thursday that the juvenile system — which focuses on rehabilitation, rather than punishment — is the appropriate venue for Nemphos.

"He had no prior involvement with the juvenile system," he said. "He had a very strong support system that had been present throughout his life."

The state Department of Juvenile Services compiled a report on the teen's background before the hearing, Murtha said.

Shellenberger said prosecutors agreed Nemphos' case should be transferred "based upon what we learned about his background." He declined to comment on specifics.

Juvenile court records are sealed from the public.

Rather than facing jail time, Nemphos could now be sent to a juvenile detention facility or residential treatment program, Murtha said. He has been held at the Charles J. Hickey School in Parkville since his arrest.

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Nemphos' family is "relieved and very grateful that the system worked in a way that will afford their son [a way] to obtain the help that he needs," Murtha said.

Prior to Nemphos' arrest, county police Officer Timothy McLaughlin had gone to his home because the teen was suspected of breaking into cars parked at the Monkton Grille, according to charging documents. While interviewing Nemphos, McLaughlin discovered Nemphos' alleged plans to attack his school.

At a ceremony last week, the Baltimore County Police Foundation honored McLaughlin, giving him an award for exceptional performance "for his tenacious and exemplary investigative skills, which thwarted [Nemphos'] plan."

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