OXON HILL, Md. — A 14-year-old middle school girl has been arrested and charged for arranging an attack on a Prince George's County school bus that nearly turned deadly, testimony in the teen's detention hearing Monday revealed.
On May 1, three teen boys pushed their way past a Prince George’s County school bus driver and aide in Oxon Hill and tried to shoot a middle school student in the head, but the gun misfired. Video of the attack shows a teenaged attacker holding a gun to the victim’s head and chest while his two accomplices hold the victim down. All three teens then beat the victim and fled.
Now, a 14-year-old girl is accused of planning the "hit-squad" attack. The eighth-grader is accused of texting the boys moments before the attack to let them know the victim was on the bus.
The teen girl was arrested over the weekend. Though her family begged for her to be released into home detention before her trial, she was ordered held without bail at a juvenile facility during a court hearing Monday. Prosecutors told the judge a gang rivalry was involved in the attack. The victim's mother also asked the judge not to let the girl go home, saying she, her son and the school bus driver feared she could orchestrate another attack if released.
“She planned this out, and she set it up to a T," the victim’s mother said in court.
Two of the three teen boys seen on video as well have been arrested, but the third teen boy in the video -- the one holding the gun -- has not yet been found, and the gun has not been recovered.
The two boys arrested were in court Friday. A detective in the case testified that the 9mm semi-automatic pistol held to the victim's head jammed repeatedly, which likely saved the boy's life.
Attorneys for the two boys who are in custody said they are innocent. The attorneys argued that the attackers can’t be identified on video because of the masks.
Lesser misdemeanor charges related to gun possession were dropped by Judge Cheri Simpkins, but she ordered that the most serious attempted murder charges move forward after prosecutors argued the boys acted "in concert" with each other to carry off a planned attack.
All three teens arrested thus far are being charged as adults with attempted murder.
Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy said the case should be a warning to other teens and parents that prosecutors will not hesitate to charge violent teens as adults.
"Parents should know who their children are hanging out with, who they are socializing with, and who is influencing them," Braveboy cautioned. "Even if your child does not have a weapon, but the person they are with has a weapon and they intend to do harm, they will be charged as if they had the weapon. It's really important to take this seriously. We are serious about prosecuting everyone who is a gun offender here in Prince George’s County.”
The victim allegedly knew his attackers by name but refused for days to tell police, according to testimony. Police say they identified the masked suspects only after seizing the victim's phone and discovering it has been used to text the attackers’ names shortly after the assault to a contact. The defense attorneys argued the victim’s reluctance to name his attackers calls his truthfulness into question.
WUSA9 is not currently naming any of the people involved because of their juvenile status.
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