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1 cleared in death of teen

The Baltimore Sun

The charge against one of six counselors indicted in the death of an East Baltimore teen at a school for juvenile offenders has been dropped, Carroll County prosecutors said yesterday.

Michael Paul Corradi of Middletown, Pa., had been charged with one count of reckless endangerment in the death last year of Isaiah Simmons, 17, at the privately run Bowling Brook Preparatory School. Simmons lost consciousness while counselors pinned him to the ground face down, restraining him for about three hours.

The state medical examiner ruled Simmons' death a homicide. Bowling Brook closed in March.

Lawyers for three of the remaining defendants, each charged with one count of reckless endangerment, were in Carroll County Circuit Court yesterday for a hearing to discuss what details would be admissible in trial.

The counselors involved in restraining Simmons were accused of waiting 41 minutes to call 911, even though the teen was unresponsive and needed medical attention, according to Carroll County prosecutors.

"Mr. Corradi was not as culpable as was presented to the grand jury," said Allan Culver, a senior assistant state's attorney. "He was not there during the time when Isaiah Simmons went nonresponsive."

Corradi was one of the people who initiated the 911 call, which was made from his phone, Culver said. Corradi is expected to be called as a state witness, he said.

"This was a tragic accident," said Steven A. Allen, Corradi's attorney. "However, we were successful in demonstrating that Mr. Corradi had left the area where Isaiah Simmons was located before the time at which the state alleges that Mr. Simmons went into distress."

Officials at the school have denied any improper conduct.

Steven H. Heisler, who represents Simmons' family, said the teen's mother was not pleased with the dismissal. A call to Felicia Wilson, Simmons' mother, was not returned.

Those still facing a reckless endangerment charge are: Mark Richard Sainato, Shadi Sabbagh, Jason Willie Robinson, Brian Gerard Kanavy and Dennis Harding.

The defendants, who are scheduled to go to trial in February and May, are awaiting Judge Michael M. Galloway's ruling on a motion to dismiss the cases.


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