BALTIMORE (WJZ)–It was a vicious crime that grabbed national headlines. A self-proclaimed white supremacist and two teenagers were accused in the severe beating of an elderly black fisherman in Locust Point. For the first time, one of the teenagers speaks exclusively to WJZ.
Derek Valcourt explains that the outcome of his case is quite different from the other defendant.
Emmanuel Miller was just 16 when he and his then 17-year-old friend Zachary Watson were arrested and charged as adults in connection of a brutal beating of James Privott, an elderly black fisherman, in 2009.
Neo-Nazi Calvin Lockner, 28, pled guilty and received a 31-year sentence for his role in the beating.
Valcourt: Did you hit him?
Miller: No, I did not hit that man. Me and my friend Zachary watched. After Calvin beat the man up, he told us get in the car or we was next, and he was gonna beat us. And we just seen what he could do to somebody, so we got in the car.
Valcourt: What do you regret about that night?
Miller: I regret getting in the car, I regret hanging out with a guy like that. Not calling for help. I wish I would have ran for help and just left. I wish I would have done something to try to help the guy, try to stop the guy from beating the elderly man.
“The juvenile system is completely designed to rehabilitate,” said Steve Silverman, Miller’s attorney. “The adult system is really about punishment.”
Silverman helped get Miller’s case brought into juvenile court. His rehabilitation has been so impressive that the judge has already released him on probation—a very different story from his best friend Watson.
Though only a few months older, Watson still awaits trial as an adult and could face life in prison.
Valcourt: If you could see the victim Mr. Privott today, what would you say to him?
Miller: I would say I’m sorry for what happened to him, and me and Zachary did not take part in the beating, and we are sincerely sorry. We were scared that night, and we wish we could stop it from happening.
Friends and his probation officer say Miller has been staying out of trouble since his release from prison. He is just a few weeks away from obtaining his GED, and then he says he is considering colleges.
A trial date has not been set for 18-year-old Watson.