BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One day after Governor Larry Hogan lashed out at judges for lax punishments in the juvenile justice system, the mother of murder victim Robert Ponsi detailed her ordeal with what she called “a broken system” with “a lack of accountability.”
Dawn Ponsi said a judge transferred her son’s accused killer to the juvenile system where she said he was out of detention “in 12 months.”
“My son’s case should have been enough to highlight the problems of this system,” Ponsi said. “But apparently it wasn’t,”
In 2016, her son was riding his bicycle from his job in Harbor East to the Waverly neighborhood when he was attacked by a group of young people and stabbed more than a dozen times.
“Because a witness backed out, during the trials, it was not disclosed that he stopped to save someone else who was being robbed by this gang of teenagers, and he lost his life in doing so,” his mom said.
Then-15-year-old Prince Greene was initially charged as an adult in the killing.
According to published reports, after his release from juvenile detention earlier this year, Greene was charged with an assault in West Baltimore, and police say he ditched a backpack with a loaded gun.
“I warned the judge…it was predictable,” Ponsi said.
In her son’s case, two other teens were charged as adults. They were acquitted of murder but found guilty of robbing and assaulting him.
Ponsi’s mother says they won appeals of their convictions because of a judge’s error, and she will be attending upcoming court proceedings in their cases.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and I think that sums up the Baltimore juvenile justice system. At this point, it’s insane,” Ponsi said.
She said she has followed two recent cases where juveniles on home monitoring for other crimes were charged with murder.
17-year-old Mikayal Hendricks was arrested this week for killing 73-year-old Lawrence “Tony” Price. Police said he shot him in a road rage incident in Northwest Baltimore.
In May, police said 16-year-old Dawnta Harris ran over and killed Baltimore County Officer Amy Caprio in a stolen Jeep.
“My heart goes out to her family,” Ponsi said. “I wish that they could have an easier ride through this process, but it is going to be brutalizing to them.“