Plea for lower bail rejected in rock-throwing case


An Annapolis District Court judge refused yesterday to lower the $1 million bail set for a 16-year-old Lothian youth charged with second-degree murder, despite an attempt by his grandparents to raise the money.

William C. Brennan Jr., the attorney for Jason Wyvill, asked Judge Martha F. Rasin to lower the bail to $50,000. The defendant's maternal and paternal grandparents were willing to put up $25,000 worth of their property, and the other $25,000 would come from a surety bond, Mr. Brennan said.

The defendant, who suffers from psychiatric disorders and has a cocaine problem, also had agreed to be admitted to an in-state drug treatment center similar to one he had enrolled in for seven days in Newport News, Va.

Bernard Gallagher, father of the victim, Kevin Michael Gallagher, wept after the hearing.

"I kept hearing references to this guy's grandparents," said Mr. Gallagher, 73, "But I'm a grandparent, too. I'm the grandfather of my son's three children."

He cried quietly in the hall before being led off by his daughter-in-law, 35-year-old Lori Gallagher, of Deale. Her husband died April 3 after a rock was thrown through the windshield of his Dodge Dakota as he drove home.

Mr. Wyvill was charged last week after police from Anne Arundel County and Newport News arrested him at Colonial Hospital's drug rehabilitation center in the Virginia city. He has since been held at the Anne Arundel County jail.

The defendant, who lives in the Lyons Creek Mobile Estates, could get 30 years in prison if convicted.

During yesterday's hearing, Assistant State's Attorney Daryl Jones argued against lowering Mr. Wyvill's bail.

Mr. Wyvill "has been committed to facilities five times with no indication that he's completed even one of them," said Mr. Jones, adding that the youth posed a risk of flight and was a danger to the community.

"It was a senseless act that led to this particular death," Mr. Jones said. "The violence that is there speaks for itself. This was not something that was done on a whim. The defendant wanted to see a major accident occur."

Judge Rasin said she would not change the bail unless she knew what type of drug treatment center the defendant had in mind and the level of security at the center.

Kristin Riggin, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office, said Mr. Wyvill was charged with second-degree murder because he "acted with extreme disregard of life-endangering consequences of his actions" and that his conduct "created a high risk of a loss of life."

Mrs. Gallagher said she was pleased with Judge Rasin's decision.

"The system did well," she said.

Her father-in-law was more blunt.

"I'm glad that she didn't reduce his bail, and I hope it's never reduced," Mr. Gallagher said.

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