Victim: John Marvin Weed
Murderers: A 16-year-old male and a 15-year-old male
Crime date: September 20, 2019
Crime location: Fredrick, Maryland
On September 20, 2019, John Weed went to The Great Frederick Fair in Fredrick, MD, with his family. While at the fair, John was approached by two teens and their friends. A 15-year-old asked him for a dollar. After John said no to the request and began to walk away, the teens followed him. The 16-year-old sucker punched him in the back of the head. The 15-year-old then punched John with such force that he lost consciousness. As he lay on the ground the 16-year-old spat on him.
The younger assailant pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a long-term behavior modification program. The 16-year-old was sentenced to probation and anger management.
Man who died after assault at Frederick fair remembered as family’s ‘rock’ by The Fredrick News Post
The sister of John Weed, the 59-year-old Mount Airy man who died Saturday after an assault at The Great Frederick Fair the night before, said Weed was her “rock” and a caring person.
Lori Hawkins said in a prepared statement Tuesday that her brother was instrumental in helping the family transition after their parents, children and grandchildren moved to Frederick County a year ago.
“John immediately took on so many projects and all the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for us,” Hawkins said. “He gave so much love to his young niece and nephew, [including] four-wheeler rides, playing in the pool, reading bedtime stories and so much more.”
Hawkins said Weed’s 5-year-old nephew would, after coming home from school every day, ask where “Uncle Jay” was, making reference to a nickname for Weed.
“He would run downstairs to see what project he could help him with,” Hawkins said. “Jay would always have a project for him be it painting, drywall work, building a fire pit or making furniture. He was Jay’s little helper. My brother was the happiest I’ve ever seen him. Until September 20th.”
“We just wanted to spend time together as a family at the fair, but due to this horrible act of unprovoked violence my brother is now dead,” Hawkins said. “There is no excuse for what these individuals have done. If there are any other witnesses to this horrible act please contact the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department.”
Two brothers from Frederick, 15 and 16 years old, have been charged with assault in the deadly attack. Prosecutors believe the altercation may have started after the two teenagers asked Weed for a dollar, according to a previous report.
A candlelight vigil in remembrance of Weed is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Watkins Park, 7255 Ridge Road in Mount Airy.
Teen Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Frederick Fair Attack by NBC Washington
A 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to fatally punching a man at a Maryland fair last fall after the man refused to give him cash.
John Weed died Sept. 21 after the teen sucker punched him, without provocation, at the Great Frederick Fair the previous day, prosecutors say. Weed was 59.
Prosecutors said the 15-year-old boy asked Weed for cash. He refused. The teens walked away but the boy’s 16-year-old brother turned back and punched him. Then, the 15-year-old punched him as well. It’s believed to be the younger brother’s blow that was deadly, prosecutors said.
“When Mr. Weed was facing his 16-year-old brother, the respondent came running from a distance and punched Mr. Weed with such force, the photos indicate he had lost consciousness almost immediately,” the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a release Wednesday.
Both teens were charged as juveniles.
Prosecutors had argued for the 15-year-old boy to be tried as an adult, but after a lengthy hearing in February, the court determined he would remain in the juvenile system.
“Holding him responsible for the manslaughter was the very first thing we wanted to accomplish for the family and community, regardless of whether he was tried as an adult or juvenile,” State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said. “Since the judge made the decision to keep him in the juvenile system, that means the judge and juvenile services will focus on his rehabilitation, not punishment like the adult system.
The 15-year-old initially was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. His brother was charged with second-degree assault.
Weed was a devoted uncle who took care of his family, his sister said last month. Before the attack, Weed was “the happiest I’ve ever seen him,” she said.
Weed’s sister called for the teens to be punished.
“We just wanted to spend time together as a family at the fair, but due to this horrible act of unprovoked violence my brother is now dead. There is no excuse for what these individuals have done,” she said.
A 16-year-old charged with assault after a Mount Airy man died as a result of an incident at the Great Frederick Fair was sentenced to probation and anger management in court Wednesday.
John Marvin Weed, 59, died after police say he was assaulted by 15- and 16-year-old brothers at the fair in September. The 16-year-old pleaded guilty July 8 in Frederick County Circuit Court to one count of second-degree assault, which his attorney said was specifically for spitting on Weed. His disposition hearing, akin to sentencing, was held Wednesday, according to a news release from the State’s Attorney for Frederick County.
Judge Julie Solt closed the courtroom to the public, at the request of the defense, the release reads. The judge has the discretion to close the courtroom in juvenile hearings.
The state and the victim’s family wanted the teen to be committed and placed in a juvenile treatment program, the release reads. Solt ordered he be placed on probation with conditions. In Frederick County juvenile court, probation is ordered for indefinite periods, the length depending on the juvenile’s needs and response to treatment, according to a spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office.
Defense attorney speaks out
The 16-year-old’s attorney, Stacey Steinmetz, said that although her client and the state’s attorney’s office do not agree on the facts of the case, she believes the justice system worked. She was glad the case remained in juvenile court, despite the state’s attempts to move it to the adult system.[More Maryland news] ‘Nobody expects that this is going to go well’: Some Towson University faculty fear returning, expect campus to close within weeks »
“I think the court’s done a good job in a very difficult situation,” she said.
Steinmetz suggested there was more to the incident than what has been publicized. One of the results of taking a plea is that there was no trial to test the witnesses on both sides. If there were a trial, she said there would have been witnesses who said this was “not a completely unprovoked situation.”
“There were two sides to the story,” Steinmetz said.
The 16-year-old reacted to something that he was told happened to his brother, she said, declining to elaborate further.
That being said, Steinmetz said her client is remorseful for what occurred and wants to put this behind him.
“We wish peace to Mr. Weed’s family,” Steinmetz said, also describing that family as acting with compassion and grace throughout the proceedings.
Conditions of probation
Conditions of the 16-year-old’s probation include, according to the state’s attorney spokesperson, participating in a victim awareness program to help juveniles understand the victims’ perspective. In the juvenile’s home, services will be put in place to serve counseling needs for the family, plus therapy for behavior modification and anger management, and anger management classes. The 16-year-old will also have to abide by standard conditions of probation such as obeying laws and going to school.
Steinmetz is confident he will meet the terms of probation. She said her client has shown over the past 300-some days that he is compliant and not dangerous.
Another disposition hearing is scheduled for this fall, during which the teen could be taken from the community and put in a juvenile facility if the court finds he is not compliant.
Weed’s family was present for Wednesday morning’s hearing and have appeared regularly for all of the hearings since the arrest of the teens in September of 2019, the release states.
Prosecutors say that just after 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, Weed was approached by the two teens and a couple of their friends while out with his family at the fair. The 15-year-old and another youth asked Weed for a dollar, and Weed told them no. That’s when a verbal altercation ensued.
Weed started to walk away, the teens followed him, and the 16-year-old punched him in the back of the head, according to a release from the state’s attorney’s office. As Weed “squared up” with the older brother, the 15-year-old came running and punched Weed with such force that he appeared to lose consciousness almost immediately, according to the release. While Weed was on the ground, the 16-year-old spat on him, the release reads.
Witnesses and the 15-year-old said in court April 29 there were no racial slurs used, according to a May 15 state’s attorney’s office release.
Weed was found on the ground near the midway area of the Frederick fairgrounds and was flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. He never regained consciousness and died a day later.