A Hagerstown teenager charged as an adult in an armed robbery had his case transferred to juvenile court following a hearing Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court, but his co-defendant will have to wait for a judge’s decision regarding his case.
Judge Dana Moylan Wright granted 17-year-old Nijah Malik Abdul Rahim’s petition to have his case transferred to juvenile court. Wright said she would decide within 10 days whether to grant a similar petition for Sheldon Lontre Maxie Hylton, also 17, of Chambersburg, Pa.
They are charged by Hagerstown police in the Nov. 14, 2012, holdup of Hartle’s Subs, 1301 Marshall St.
Two males, one armed with what appeared to be a handgun, entered the business at 6:44 p.m., demanded cash and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, police reported at the time.
Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa told Wright that Rahim had never been adjudicated as a juvenile, and a Department of Juvenile Services officer said that the department’s recommendation was that he be served in the juvenile system.
“There seems to be a greater likelihood of amenability in this case,” Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Kessell told Wright.
The department of Juvenile Services, however, recommended Hylton’s case remain in adult criminal court.
Five factors are weighed to determine whether a case stays in adult court or is transferred to juvenile court: The age of the defendant; their mental and physical condition; amenability to treatment through the juvenile system; the nature of the charges; and public safety.
Hylton’s attorney, Bernard W. Semler II, argued that his client had previously performed well in a structured environment, something that could be offered through the juvenile court system. Semler also told Wright that it was difficult for him to follow his previous Maryland juvenile probation after his family moved to Franklin County.
Hylton has already had several opportunities to show whether he was amenable to treatment as a juvenile, Kessell told Wright, noting he had been adjudicated delinquent in 2011 for resisting arrest and in 2012 for second-degree assault and trespass.
Hylton also refused to cooperate with his probation officer during several interviews, Kessell told Wright.
Hylton had earlier taken the witness stand and testified he did not talk with his probation officer on one occasion, “because I had nothing to talk about with him.”
In answer to questions from Kessell, Hylton testified he had not taken any steps to complete his GED, seek employment or get anger management counseling when he was on probation.
Charges against both Rahim and Hylton include armed robbery, use of a handgun in a crime of violence and first- and second-degree assault, court records said.