… His mother appears relieved; victim’s parents distraught …
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun
10:12 PM EDT, June 15, 2011
A teenager who was found responsible in the killing of a 14-year-old Crofton boy was ordered released Wednesday to his mother after a year and a half in a Pennsylvania juvenile facility, upsetting the victim’s parents.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge J. Michael Wachs placed Javel M. George, now 18, on probation until he is 21.
He will have a GPS monitor and authorities will have a standing order to arrest him if he violates the terms of his release, which say he must be at his mother’s home unless he is in court-ordered activities, including attending school or work and completing 100 hours of community service.
The father of Christopher Jones, the teenager killed two years ago when he was punched while riding a bicycle, called George’s release a “bad idea.” The youth was killed in a quarrel between two youth gangs, though he did not belong to either.
“Taking him from the highest security, then releasing him to no security whatsoever,” David Jones said as he left the courtroom.
“If you can serve two years for taking a life, kids can get away with anything and have minimal or no consequences,” Jennifer Adkins, the slain teen’s mother, wrote to a reporter in a text message. She did not attend the hearing because of her current husband’s terminal illness.
George’s mother, Anetra George, speaking through her attorney, declined to comment.
Javel George had been ordered to spend up to four years in a juvenile facility after being found responsible — the equivalent of guilty in adult court — for manslaughter. He had been charged as an adult, where his name was made public, but later moved to juvenile court.
Prosecutor Michael Bergeson, the Department of Juvenile Services and the family of the slain youth asked Wachs to send George from a secure facility in Pennsylvania to one that is less secure.
George’s lawyer, Frank Gray Jr., said his client’s behavior was exemplary, leading counselors there to recommend returning him to his mother and grandmother. They moved from Crofton to Landover. The community is in Prince George’s County, where David Jones works as a deputy sheriff.
“The fact is that Javel has done everything I have asked of him and more,” Wachs said.
Wachs said DJS officials offered no reason for placing George in another program, “unless they feel he needs to be punished further.” But, the judge noted, the law provides for rehabilitation of juveniles, not punishment. George was 16 when charged with manslaughter.
George, on speaker-phone in court, said he has changed, completed his GED and wants to study sports management in hopes of becoming an athletic director, perhaps at a high school. “That’s what kept me out of trouble, to a point,” he said.
A hearing for the other youth found to have committed manslaughter in Christopher Jones’ death is scheduled this month.
Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun
… What is wrong with this picture, again, while Christopher Jones lies stone, cold, dead in his grave? …