Ex-freshman admits blame

Nov. 8, 2002, midnight | By Amy Ernst | 18 years, 2 months ago

Student involved in May stabbing

Former Blair student David Dominguez, who was arrested last May for stabbing two other freshmen, pleaded "involved" to two counts of first-degree assault on Oct 23. Dominguez is being prosecuted as a juvenile after originally being charged as an adult.

Dominguez will likely have a sentencing hearing this month, according to an Oct 30 article in the Montgomery County Gazette.

Under the adult judicial system, Dominguez could have faced two life sentences, according to Gang Prosecutor and Assistant State's Attorney Jeffrey Wennar. In the juvenile justice system, he will most likely serve 15 months in a detention center, said Wennar.

Dominguez was arrested for stabbing two freshmen near the Marvin Memorial Methodist Church on May 31. One of the victims was stabbed several times in the back, and the other once in the chest. Dominguez and another former Blair freshman, whose name has not been released, fled the scene but were later arrested by Montgomery County police.

Dominguez was originally charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault.

According to an Oct 9 article in the Gazette, Judge Durke Thompson believes that a juvenile detention center will have more impact on Dominguez than would an adult prison.

Wennar believes that time served at a juvenile detention center will not stop Dominguez's criminal activity. "The Department of Juvenile Justice has no programs to treat and rehabilitate the individuals who come into it," explained Wennar. "It is a fundamentally flawed system without the resources to provide the programs that would benefit the kids."

Gary Gerstenfield, Dominguez's attorney, believes punishment under the juvenile justice system will be best for Dominguez because of the detrimental effects of prison. "During the two and a half to three years, he would probably get raped, definitely sodomized, and then he would be returned back to the community," said Gerstenfield.

According to Gerstenfield, Dominguez would spend only slightly more time in prison than in a juvenile detention center. "[He] would have been convicted of first-degree assault, five to seven years in jail," said Gerstenfield, adding that Dominguez would serve only half of that time.

Gerstenfield said the dispute between Dominguez and the victims was over Dominguez's lack of interest in joining a gang. "The problem in Blair is with young hoodlums trying to start gangs. Kids that don't want to be in the gang become the enemy," said Gerstenfield.

In Maryland, accused persons over 18 are tried as adults. Because Dominguez's crime is punishable by life in prison or death and he is over 14, he was originally charged as an adult, said Wennar.

Thompson charged Dominguez as a juvenile because of his age, mental health, physical health and amenability to treatment and because of public safety and the nature of the incident, said Wennar. "In this particular case, his age at the time was 15 years ten months, and he had never been in the juvenile system before. So the department recommended that he be waived back to juvenile court," Wennar explained.

Montgomery County police officer Debra Marshall said the stabbing was due to an ongoing dispute among the teens. Police documents stated that all four students were involved in gangs.

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Amy Ernst. Amy ERnst enjoys kicking armpits during the Simpsons. She is a SEEEENIOR and loves eating sawdust. Her favorite person in the whole widest world is Colin Powell and she likes going curling with him wearing only a lilly pad on her ear lobe. Sometimes she … More »

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