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Carroll teen’s attack case might be sent to juvenile court; Taneytown police chief sentencing delayed

A hearing on whether to move the case of a 14-year-old — charged as an adult with attempted murder — to juvenile court has been scheduled.

Plus, the federal sentencing of a longtime Taneytown police chief is among several other notable court cases that have recently been delayed.

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Here’s a roundup of those cases and the next step for each, as currently scheduled.

William Tyler

William E. Tyler, the former Taneytown police chief, pleaded guilty Feb. 12 in U.S. District Court to the unlawful transfer and possession of a machine gun.

He illegally took two machine guns that were purchased for Taneytown Police Department and transferred them to himself and another Taneytown officer. Online court records show Tyler was released, though it is not clear when.

Marcia Murphy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland said in an email that Tyler’s sentencing, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, is now scheduled for Jan. 28. She did not know why it had been rescheduled.

This is just the latest of several delays in Tyler’s sentencing. He was first scheduled to be sentenced June 14, but the date was pushed back to Sept. 6, then it was moved back again, to Jan. 14, online court records show.

Alaina Blake

Alaina J. Blake, 14, of Manchester was charged as an adult Nov. 25 with attempted first- and second-degree murder, among other charges.

Authorities say she plotted with her 13-year-old boyfriend to kill a relative of his as part of a “kill list," and attacked a man with a hammer, who was sent to shock trauma for his injuries.

Blake, who is being held without bond, previously had a court date set for Jan. 17. A motion for a reverse waiver hearing — to send the case to juvenile court — was made Dec. 10, according to online court records. A hearing on that motion is now scheduled for Feb. 14, the records show.

Laura Filler

Laura Filler of Hampstead was charged April 6 with 109 counts related to animal cruelty after 27 dogs were found dead and 27 others were found living in poor conditions at a property on Black Rock Road.

Filler pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to 11 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Filler is being held without bond, online court records show.

Filler’s sentencing had been scheduled for Jan. 17, but the defense requested the case be postponed, online court records show. She is now scheduled to be sentenced May 4, the records show.

Krista Johnson

Krista Johnson, 24, of Westminster was indicted by a grand jury in October in relation to an incident of alleged child abuse that caused brain bleeding in her 6-month-old son. She was charged with first-degree child abuse and other related counts.

After a hearing Tuesday, a jury trial for Johnson was scheduled for April 20-24, online court records show. The defense requested the case be postponed, the records show.

Last year, Jared Michael McAbee was sentenced to 25 years in the same case after entering an Alford plea for first-degree child abuse. (An Alford plea functions as a guilty pea in Maryland courts, but allows defendants to continue to assert their innocence.)

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Darryl Varnum

Darryl A. Varnum of Westminster was indicted by a federal grand jury after allegedly threatening to kill a member of Congress in June.

The indictment stems from Varnum’s allegedly leaving a profanity-laced voicemail for a member of Congress — identified in a criminal complaint filed in Baltimore’s U.S. District Court only as “United States Congressperson #1” — on June 28.

Murphy said in an email that Varnum now has a trial scheduled for March 9. She did not know why it had been rescheduled.

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