A 14-year old boy has been charged with first degree murder and first degree rape in the sexual assault and beating death of a teacher at Prince George’s County’s Cheltenham Youth Facility. Prosecutors have filed a motion to have the boy, who was 13 at the time of the murder, tried as an adult. If convicted as a juvenile, the boy would be held until he reached the age of 21; if convicted as an adult, he would face a sentence of up to life in prison. At a hearing scheduled for August 27, the teenager’s Maryland criminal attorneys will discover whether they are defending their client against juvenile or adult charges.
The charges are the result of the death of Hannah Wheeling, 65, a general studies teacher at the Cheltenham Facility. Wheeling’s body was found outside Murphy Cottage at the juvenile detention center. The suspect was a resident at Murphy Cottage at the time of the murder. The boys living at the Cottage, which sits outside the fence at Cheltenham, have no known history of mental illness or violent offenses, including sexual assault and murder. Additionally, the residents of Murphy Cottage are never supposed to be out of sight of a Cheltenham Facility staff member. Regardless of these precautions, Wheeling was raped and beaten to death at the facility. Her death has sparked an investigation into security measures and safety at the facility.