LA PLATA, Md. (March 25, 2019)—Tony Covington, State's Attorney for Charles County, advises that on the afternoon of Friday, March 22, 2019, the Grand Jury for Charles County, Maryland returned an indictment for Kristopher Raul-Alex McDonald, age 16, of La Plata. The Grand Jury indictment charges McDonald with seven crimes. The most serious counts are Possessing Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute and Possessing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime.
On March 19, 2019, a teacher at La Plata High School observed McDonald acting erratically and suspected that McDonald was under the influence of a substance. McDonald was then removed from the classroom and a search was conducted on his belongings. During the search, an administrator located a container of brownies in McDonald's bookbag. McDonald reportedly stated that the brownies were made with marijuana and he intended to give some to his friends at school. The administrator also discovered what appeared to be a handgun in a separate compartment of McDonald's bookbag. A school resource officer was immediately called to continue the investigation and confirmed that McDonald was in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun. McDonald was apprehended at the scene.
According to court documents, after apprehension, McDonald stated that he consumed two of the brownies and stated that he intended to give some to his friends at school. McDonald also stated that the handgun found in his bookbag did belong to him.
Covington, explaining why McDonald has been charged as an adult despite being 16 years old, said, "The State has no choice but to charge this defendant as an adult. The law is very clear: someone 16 years of age or older who is accused of certain crimes must be charged as an adult. Mr. McDonald is accused of at least two crimes that require adult charging: possession of a handgun and possessing a handgun in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Charging him as an adult, however, does not necessarily mean that his case will ultimately be adjudicated in adult court. The law also allows for a juvenile that has been charged as an adult to ask the court to send the case to juvenile court. Such requests are routinely made, and—depending upon the crime, the juvenile's criminal history and other considerations—the Courts often send these types of cases to Juvenile Court. Each defendant and each case is different so, at this point, it would be foolish of me to predict what the Court might do in this particular case."
Summary of charges:
• Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance On School Property
• Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance
• Possessing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime
• Possession of a Firearm on School Property
• Wear, Carry and Transport of Handgun Upon Person
• Loaded Handgun on Person
• Possession of a Regulated Firearm Under the Age of 21
The charges against McDonald are allegations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.