Md. juvenile center workers to be disciplined in murder case
Maryland will announce sanctions against one or more employees at a state-run juvenile detention facility in Prince George's County where a teacher was beaten to death last month, the state's Department of Juvenile Services said in a Wednesday press release.
The press conference, scheduled to include information on the results of a "preliminary inquiry" into the circumstances surrounding the killing, is scheduled for the department's Baltimore headquarters.
The body of Hannah Wheeling, 65, was found Feb. 18 outside a campus building at the Cheltenham Youth Facility.
The body of the general studies teacher was found partially clothed, and she appeared to have been sexually assaulted, law enforcement sources have said.
A 13-year-old former detainee at the facility is the main suspect, though he has not yet been charged in the murder. State police investigators have recovered a bloody shirt belonging to the suspect and obtained a statement from him, according to law enforcement sources. The boy had been in custody on burglary charges.
The boy has been moved to another facility.
The suspect had been housed in Cheltenham Murphy Cottage, which sits outside the detention center's fence and is meant for youths who have been evaluated to be not dangerous to themselves or others. Wheeling taught at the cottage.
Prince George's prosecutors are considering charging the boy as an adult. Prosecutors would need to file a motion asking a judge to transfer the case into the adult criminal justice system.
The fact that state juvenile officials are holding a news conference signals that significant progress has been made in the investigation, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the probe.
State police and prosecutors are working methodically to gather as much evidence as possible before bringing charges, said the source. Prosecutors are in no rush to charge the boy because he is already in custody, added the source, who declined to be identified by name because the investigation is ongoing.
-- Ruben Castaneda
March 17, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
Categories: Pr. George's , Prison Beat , Ruben Castaneda , Updates | Tags: Cheltenham Youth Facility, Hannah Wheeling
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