- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2012

Two wards of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) - including one who escaped from its $46 million, state-of-the-art detention facility in Maryland - were brought to justice last week after being involved with violent crimes.

Kwan Kearney, 21, of Northeast D.C. was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison for his role in the November 2010 slaying of a teenager in Northwest, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

And Treyvon Cortez Carey, 19, of Hyattsville pleaded guilty to robbery and escape from New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel in April 2011, according to U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

Each of the cases speaks to the struggles of DYRS to manage and rehabilitate its more than 1,100 youth offenders.

Of 130 cases examined by The Washington Times from September 2009 through August 2010, 14 homicide victims and 15 suspects arrested or charged in the killings were wards of DYRS, which lists public safety as its top priority.

And, while DYRS has struggled with its 700 wards who live in communities throughout the city, The Times previously reported that 68 fights and assaults occurred inside New Beginnings during a recent two-month period.

DYRS officials did not return emails for comment.

In the murder case, Kearney was convicted in March of first-degree murder after he and co-defendant Jeremy Risper got into a dispute with a mutual friend, 19-year-old Jamal Wilson, who they later shot in the heart in the unit block of P Street in Northwest on Nov. 14, 2010. Risper also has been convicted of first-degree murder. He is to be sentenced July 27.

The killing of Mr. Wilson - who also was a ward of DYRS at the time of his death - was the second one committed by Kearney within six days. Kearney was released from jail on Nov. 8, 2010, and that night he killed another teenager in the District, 17-year-old Joseph Sharps Jr., in the 1300 block of Holbrook Street in Northeast.

He will serve a 60-year prison sentence in that killing and then another 45 years for the killing of Mr. Wilson.

In the robbery-escape case, Treyvon Carey was detained at New Beginnings in April 2011 when he managed to open the locked door to his room and punch a security officer who was attempting to return another juvenile to his room. The two youths beat and choked the security officer, snatched his car keys, shoes, wallet and key card, and left the unit before entering a workshop where they found a ladder that Carey used to scale the barbed wire fence that surrounds the campus.

Although the other youth was unable to clear the fence, Carey escaped and used the guard’s remote car key to drive away. The car was found later that day and Carey was arrested on May 2, 2011.

The guard suffered a fractured jaw and orbital bone in the beating and had to have a metal plate surgically inserted in his face, near his eye. He has been unable to return to work.

Carey faces a maximum 15 years and 10 years for robbery and escape, respectively. He is to be sentenced in September.

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