Residents Question Why Teen Remains With Grandmother While Charged With Alleged Crime

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UPDATED: Monday February 24, 2014 6:02 PM

There are questions as to why a 16 year old, accused of assaulting a jogger in Sharon Woods Metro Park, remains at home with his grandmother one week after the alleged crime.

The teenage suspect is facing assault and unlawful restraint charges.

A date has been set for his arraignment in Franklin County Juvenile Court.

While he waits for the judicial process to begin, the 16-year-old remains in the custody of his grandmother, his court appointed custodial guardian.

A group of people in Blendon Township, who came together following the fatal stabbing of a jogger in Ridgewood Park in Blendon Township, say they are troubled by the fact that the teenage suspect in the Sharon Woods case is not in custody.

Group spokesperson, John Maguire, points to another case he and his neighbors are dealing with right now.

Maguire lives across the street from a group home where 16-year-old Jordan Stewart once lived.
 
Stewart is accused of stabbing, and killing, 55-year-old Jane Juergens on a trail in Ridgewood Park.

Maguire says allowing the teenage suspect, in the Sharon Woods case, to simply go home sets that community up for more problems.

"Jordan Stewart wasn't held accountable for his actions and look where it led to and I hate to see the same thing happen with this kid,” said John Maguire.

Sharon Township Police Chief Donald Schwind says while they don't have access to all juvenile records, what they found on the 16-year-old suspect did not reveal any previous criminal violations.

Schwind says when you have a juvenile with no prior history, police have a choice of releasing them to their legal guardian or taking them to Children's Services.  

However, he says, Children Services will likely release a juvenile with no prior criminal history to a legal guardian.

Schwind says there are some exceptions.

“Unless of course someone has been shot, stabbed or something like that - then that may take a different course of action,” said Chief Donald Schwind, “But in a situation such as this, that is a normal course of action.”

Maguire says he and his group will work with local legislators to change that.

"I think there are a number of things in the system that have fallen down to protect the public,” said Maguire, “And the point of all these systems is to protect the public."

Maguire says he and his neighbors will continue to push for corrections in the juvenile care and justice system and advocate on behalf of the kids in the system, who he says, are being "processed" rather than guided towards being proactive members in society.

He says he invites anyone affected by the alleged incident in Sharon Township to join them.

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