A 16-year-old Lansdowne youth accused of supplying the gun used to kill a Glen Burnie teen-ager last May will have his case transferred to juvenile court.
Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Martin A. Wolff ruled that Paul E. Carder of the 3100 block of Ryerson Circle should be tried in juvenile court because of his age, mental capacity and the lack of risk he poses to public safety.
The youth had been charged as adult with first-degree murder in the May 16 shooting death of Raymond Childress IV, 19, of the 1200 block of Montgomery Drive, Glen Burnie.
"It's clear that he's not functioning at the level of a 16-year-old child," the judge said of the Carder youth.
Assistant State's Attorney William Mulford said the decision means the Carder youth could be sentenced to up to five years in juvenile facilities, rather than a life sentence if he were convicted as an adult of first-degree murder.
The alleged killer in the shooting, Mark Anthony Wheelton, 17, of the 3200 block of Gorham Court, Lansdowne, is still charged as an adult in the murder.
Yesterday's hearing was requested by lawyers for the Carder youth, T. Joseph Touhey and Thomas French, who had argued that their client's limited role in the slaying and his limited mental capacities mandated transferring the case.
"This is a case of a 16-year-old boy going on 12," Mr. Touhesaid.
Laurens Carner, a senior investigator with the state Juvenile Services Administration, testified that if the Carner youth is convicted, he would be better suited for the Charles Hickey School than a state prison.
"He certainly is treatable in the juvenile system," he said.
But the decision infuriated the victim's family and friends, who packed three rows of benches in Judge Wolff's courtroom for the three-hour hearing.
"If it was an adult that committed this, he wouldn't have been waived. It's not right," said Melanie Thompson of Glen Burnie, the victim's mother.
Mr. Mulford had argued yesterday that the severity of the offense and the youth's role in it necessitated his being tried as an adult.
He claimed that the youth helped plan the murder, and went with Mr. Wheelton the night of the slaying to look for the victim.
"This was not an immature or irrational act. It was not, in fact, child-like," he said. "It was a cold-blooded, ruthless act."
In a statement to police, the Carder youth, who was then 15, said he agreed to lend Mr. Wheelton his father's .25-caliber handgun about 10 days before the shooting.
Police said Mr. Childress was shot once in the head about 11:10 p.m. near Hammerlee Road and Sunset Drive in Glen Burnie.
The shooting involved a dispute over a girl, police said.