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State seeks to charge teens as adults in case of Mount Airy man’s death after incident at Frederick fair

The teens accused of assaulting a Mount Airy man who later died from his injuries sustained at the Great Frederick Fair would be tried as adults if a judge approves waiver petitions filed by the state.

One teen could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for the manslaughter charge.


John Marvin Weed, 59, was found lying unconscious on the ground near the midway area of the fairgrounds just after 5:36 p.m. on Sept. 20, according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. He was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and died at about 4 p.m. Sept. 21, the Sheriff’s Office said. A 15-year-old and his 16-year-old brother were charged with assaulting Weed.

The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s office filed waiver petitions Oct. 10 on behalf of the state to move the teens’ cases to adult court, which cancels a hearing for the teens, originally set for Tuesday, according to a Monday news release from the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s office and Will Cockey, a spokesman for the office.


The 15-year-old defendant has been charged now with manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault, while the 16-year-old faces two counts of second-degree assault, the release states. The teens are being held in Montgomery County.

According to Maryland sentencing guidelines, the maximum punishment for an adult sentenced to voluntary manslaughter is 10 years incarceration.

It is alleged the assault began after a 15-year-old asked Weed for a dollar at the fair, Weed refused, and a verbal altercation ensued, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s office said in its release. When Weed walked away, the teens allegedly followed him and the 15-year-old allegedly punched him in the head, causing him to fall, then his 16-year-old brother allegedly spat on Weed.

Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said at a Sept. 23 news conference the 16-year-old also punched Weed in the back of the head, then several minutes later the 15-year-old “comes flying through, lands a deadly blow to the victim.”

The waiver hearings are scheduled for Nov. 19 and the teens will continue to be held until their next court appearance, as ordered by the Hon. Judge Julie Stevenson Solt, according to the release. At the hearing, the judge will decide if the charges can be moved to adult court, Cockey said.

Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins, who responded to the incident, previously deemed the alleged assault an “unprovoked" attack and said he suspected Weed was the victim of a “hate crime.” Weed was white and the defendants are black.

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Smith previously said he received numerous emails from members of the public who were outraged the teens were not charged with committing a hate crime.

“Spitting on someone is not one of the statutory criteria that allows me to charge a hate crime," Smith said Sept. 25.


Under Maryland law, hate crimes are defined as misdemeanors such as assault or vandalism that were committed based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin or homelessness.

Christopher Kalotra, assistant public defender of the Frederick County Public Defender’s Office, who represented the defendants at emergency hearings Sept. 23, did not immediately return a call or email for comment.

A candlelight vigil was held for Weed at Watkins Park in Mount Airy on Sept. 27. Dozens of people, including friends, family and strangers, came out for the event.

In a Sept. 24 statement, Weed’s sister, Lori Hawkins, wrote: “Our lives have been changed forever [due] to the unprovoked vicious attack these individuals inflicted on my brother John Weed. He was my rock."

Weed’s niece, Jessica, set up a GoFundMe page for legal, medical and funeral expenses, called Justice for John, that surpassed its $20,000 goal and had brought in $21,804 from 624 donors as of 12:45 p.m. Monday.