Carjacking case sent to juvenile court


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    BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- A teen charged with carjacking a pregnant Baltimore County school teacher will have her case sent from adult court to juvenile court.

    “It just blows my mind that I yelled it out [I’m pregnant] and they didn’t care,” the victim of a 2018 Baltimore County carjacking said in a recorded statement.

    That statement was played from a laptop computer by the prosecutor in the case, for Judge Judith Ensor, as she decided if one of the suspects, Celandia LaCruze, should see her case taken out of the adult system and into the juvenile court system.

    Baltimore County prosecutors want cases like this carjacking to be charged in adult court.

    “The bottom line is when you use force to steal a car from somebody that’s an adult crime and you need to be treated as an adult,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said to Operation: Crime and Justice in August 2018.

    LaCruze’s attorney, Donna M. D’Alessio says LaCruze will have a better chance at a better life if her case was taken to juvenile court.

    “The vast majority of juveniles, if given the correct rehabilitation will not commit those same heinous acts as adults. And, that’s what I believe is going to happen in this case,” D’Alessio said.

    Judge Judith Ensor chose to transfer LaCruze’s case down to juvenile court. While she compared the carjacking in court to lions hunting down an antelope, Ensor said “she may get the services she needs in the juvenile justice system.”

    Data provided by the Department of Juvenile Services show almost half of the youth committed to the Department of Juvenile Services are re-arrested within a year of their release.

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