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UPDATE September 21, 2020: A Grand Jury today indicted five individuals in connection with the vandalism incident that occurred at Calvert High School on August 9, 2020.
Augustine Aufderheide, 18, of Prince Frederick; Cade Meredith, 18, of Saint Leonard; Andrew Edge, 18, of Huntingtown; Kyle Hill, 18, of Prince Frederick; and Anthony Sellers, 18, of Saint Leonard were each charged with one count of a hate crime, one count of destruction of property, and one count of fourth degree burglary. The indictments allege that each individual defaced the property of Calvert High School and exhibited animosity against a group because of their race.
The indictments were announced by State’s Attorney Robert Harvey: “Since the date of the incident, the State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of Sheriff’s Department detectives, has continued its investigation and review of this matter. Today’s indictments are the culmination of this investigation.”
The hate crime charges carry a maximum punishment of three years’ incarceration as do the burglary charges. The destruction of property charges carry a maximum punishment of sixty days.
The cases will be tried in the Circuit Court for Calvert County. Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle B. Tores will handle the prosecution. Trial dates have not been set.
Calvert County residents and concerned members of the Southern Maryland community gathered at Calvert High School to voice concerns over their local leadership when it comes to race matters.
The event, which was organized by Peaceful Resistance of Southern Maryland (PRISM), was held in response to the vandalism of the school that took place earlier in the week.
The organizers of the rally respectfully declined requests for interviews.
When the news broke that five individuals had broken into school property to vandalize it with racial slurs members of the community were outraged, but those who gathered at the rally expressed they weren’t surprised.
“What are we teaching our youth? What future do they have coming from Calvert County,” a representative from PRISM said while speaking to the crowd. “It is so important for us to get involved and change what leadership looks like in our community.”
Calvert resident Jeffrey Brown was among those who lent their voices to the cause while expressing some of the long racist histories in the county.
“I want a better county for everyone,” Brown said of his reason for showing his support.
Other members of the community offered up their own accounts of racism they have experienced living in the county including the Hall family, who is still seeking justice for an incident that happened several years ago.
Another woman came forward with her experience about being turned down service at a local bar that has since been shut down while a male recounted being held at gunpoint in his bed to the attentive crowd.
Another member of PRISM stepped forward to rouse the crowd in chants of protest calling for justice for the crimes that had been committed in their own backyard as well as around the country.
In order to better serve the community, members of PRISM set up tables to register people to vote and collected school supplies.
The perpetrators of the crime are currently being charged with “two counts of malicious destruction of property less than $1000 and one count of 4th-degree burglary,” according to the police news release.
Members of PRISM have started a petition to get the police to charge those involved in the incident with a hate crime. Since the petition began, it has garnered over 2,000 signatures, nearly 500 shy of its 2,500 goal.
More is still being learned about the nature of the crime and the charges against those individuals. The Southern Maryland Chronicle is committed to updating the public as new details surface and we will have a new update concerning the charges and how they came to decide this and it is expected early this coming week.