In Glenelg High School hate crime case, another hearing pushed back as lawyers prepare defense

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

An attorney for one of the four former Glenelg High School students arrested and charged with hate crimes is asking for the top charges to be dismissed.

Matthew Lipp, 18, of Woodbine, appeared before Howard County Circuit Court Administrative Judge William V. Tucker with his lawyer, Brian Thompson, at a hearing Thursday morning.

On Monday, Thompson filed a motion to dismiss charges related to race and religious harassment.

“I think a motions may go a long way to resolve this case,” Thompson said in court Thursday.

Lipp, wearing a sky blue shirt, a tie, a black suit and dress shoes waived his right to a speedy trial.

Tucker approved a move of a hearing on motions in the case to Dec. 18 — Lipp’s original trial date —and set a Feb. 6 trial.

Tyler Curtiss, 18, of Brookeville, is also expected to appear for a motions hearing on Dec. 18.

Mark Muffoletto, Curtiss’s attorney, also filed a motion to dismiss the top three charges on Dec. 3, according to court records. Muffoletto did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The four each face three counts related to race or religious harassment, two trespassing charges and two destruction of property-related charges, according to a court records and a state’s attorney indictment summary.

Lipp, Curtiss, Joshua Shaffer, 18, of Mount Airy, Seth Taylor, 19, of Glenwood, did not enter a plea on the misdemeanor charges during their initial appearances throughout the summer.

Swastikas and racial epithets, including one that county police said targeted the school’s African-American principal, were found painted on the school’s campus exterior walls, parking lot and sidewalks, during a morning awards ceremony for Glenelg graduating seniors on May 24.

Taylor and Shaffer’s attorneys are reviewing separate plea bargain offers which first surfaced in court last month. They are due back in court for plea hearings two days after Christmas.

Lipp also received a plea offer, which was rejected, Thompson said earlier this week.

“The plea offer was substantially different than what I had anticipated,” Thompson said in court Thursday.

It is unclear if Curtiss has been offered a plea bargain deal.

The teens graduated from Glenelg High School in May, according to a county schools spokesman.

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