- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2009

BALTIMORE | A teenager charged in the racially motivated beating of an elderly black fisherman was not involved in the attack and is “mortified” at being labeled a racist, his attorney said Thursday.

In statements to police and to his lawyer, 16-year-old Emmanuel Miller pinned blame for the attack on Calvin E. Lockner, 28, a white supremacist who has a tattoo of Adolf Hitler and, according to police, is even nicknamed after the Nazi leader.

Mr. Miller was shocked when Lockner began beating 76-year-old James A. Privott with a stick and shouting racial slurs, said Mr. Miller’s attorney, Steven D. Silverman, in his first public comments on the case.

“This kid had no idea what was going down. He had never said a word to this man,” Mr. Silverman said. “He did not know that Calvin was going to beat him, and he certainly does not have a racist bone in his body.”

Lockner, Mr. Miller and 17-year-old Zachary Watson were indicted Wednesday on charges including first-degree assault, armed carjacking, armed robbery and hate crime in the Aug. 18 attack. Each faces decades in prison if convicted.

They were initially charged with attempted murder, but prosecutors decided not to pursue those charges after a review of the evidence, said Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office.

All three are being held without bail and are scheduled for arraignment Sept. 28.

Both teenagers were charged as adults, but Mr. Silverman said he would seek to have his client’s case transferred to juvenile court. Neither Mr. Watson nor Mr. Miller has an adult criminal history. Mr. Silverman said his client had been charged with “some minor juvenile mischief” but nothing violent.

Lockner, meanwhile, has spent much of this decade in prison. He pleaded guilty in 2000 to a second-degree sex offense after he confessed to raping and beating a 38-year-old woman and raping a 4-year-old girl, according to court records.

Lockner and Mr. Watson have applied for public defenders, and it was not clear Thursday whether attorneys had been assigned to them.

Mr. Silverman said his client knew about Lockner’s Hitler tattoo but did not refer to him by that name. Lockner did not discuss his beliefs and made no effort to recruit the teens into white supremacist groups, Mr. Silverman said.

“These two kids were simply hanging out with an older guy who lived in the neighborhood because he would buy them beer and the kids had nothing else to do,” Mr. Silverman said.

The teens got into the victim’s sport-utility vehicle with Lockner after the beating because Lockner threatened them, Mr. Silverman said.

“They were scared to death,” he said.

Mr. Miller has black relatives and gets along with his classmates at a majority-black city high school, Mr. Silverman said.

“Emmanuel is mortified at what Calvin did. He’s mortified that he beat this old man,” Mr. Silverman said. “He’s mortified that he’s got family members and friends that are African-American that are shocked that he’s been labeled a racist.”

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