Teen Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter For Fair Assault

The judge set a disposition hearing in May.



Frederick, Md (KM) A 15-year-old boy  charged with death of a man at the Great Frederick Fair last year entered a guilty plea Wednesday to a single count of involuntary manslaughter. He was facing charges of one count of first-degree assault, and two counts of second-degree assault, but those charges were dropped as a result of a plea agreement between the teenager’s attorney and the prosecution.

A disposition hearing will be held on May 15th to determine if the youth will remain in juvenile detention, or be released.

“We’d like to see him held in an appropriate juvenile residential program,”: says State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. “But that again is going to be up the judge after a bunch of reports, an investigation is done prior  to that May 15th date.”

On September 20th, 2020, the victim, John Weed, 59, of Mount Airy, was out at the Fair with his family when the 15-year-old and some of his friends asked Mr. Weed for money. He said “no,” but the youths kept pursing Mr Weed, even though family members told them to leave him alone, according to a news release from the State’s Attorney’s Office.

The investigation revealed that the 15-year-old hit Mr. Weed twice, as did his 16-year-old brother,  who was also arrested after  the incident. As Mr. Weed was facing the 16-year-old, his 15-year-old brother struck him with such force that Mr. Weed lost consciousness. He never regained consciousness and died the next day at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma.

The State’s Attorney’s Office, according to the news release, says the details presented in the court room on Wednesday stated that this was not a racially  motivated attack. Detectives with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office,  who interviewed witnesses, the victim’s family and the 15-year-old himself, said race was not connected with this incident. Mr. Weed was white and his two assailants are African-American.

Smith says Weed’s family was kept abreast of the developments in this case. “Mr. Weed’s family participated in today’s hearing, the video conference. They’ll also be involved in  the disposition hearing as well. They’ve been at every single hearing. And they as well as we wanted to him held accountable for this death,” Smith says.


By Kevin McManus