Medical Examiner Rules Teen's Death At Juvenile Treatment School A Homicide

Monday, March 5th 2007, 6:26 pm
By: News On 6

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ Medical examiners have ruled a death at a residential juvenile treatment school a homicide, and the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation, authorities said Monday.

Isaiah Simmons, 17, died Jan. 23 after a struggle with staff at the Bowling Brook Preparatory Academy in a case that has resulted in the school's pending closure and prodded the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services to announce reforms.

Although the autopsy did not find obvious external injuries, it concluded ``Simmons died from sudden death during restraint,'' according to a news release from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

State prosecutor Dave Daggett said the medical examiner's finding does not necessarily mean a crime was committed.

Still, he said a grand jury will review the case next month. And the FBI recently opened a formal investigation, Baltimore field office spokeswoman Michelle Crnkovich said.

The school, which was under contract with and licensed by the state to educate children who have been in trouble with the law, is closing Friday.

``The staff at Bowling Brook wishes to again express our deepest sympathies to Isaiah's family,'' the school said in a news release Monday.

Danielle Carter, Simmons' sister, declined to comment.