UPDATE April 29 11:22am -- Steven P. Choi has waived his preliminary hearing in Montgomery County District Court, giving prosecutors 30 days to pursue felony charges in Circuit Court, amend the charges or drop them altogether.
Choi, of the 13000 block of Riding Loop Drive in North Potomac, could have held a preliminary hearing this morning to contest his charges of attempted carjacking, armed robbery and possession of a concealed weapon stemming from his April 18 arrest.
"We're not going to make any comment outside of whatever we say in court," Robert Bonsib, Choi's attorney, said in a phone interview.
UPDATE April 25 5:30pm -- School officials are not commenting on whether Steven P. Choi will be allowed to return to class at Thomas S. Wootton High School pending the outcome of his arrest last week.
When a student is facing criminal charges, it is up to the school's principal and top administrators to determine whether it will be safe for them to be in school while their legal proceedings take their course, said Leslie Maxwell, spokeswoman for Montgomery County Public Schools.
Wootton Assistant Principal Ira Thomas declined to comment on Choi's status as a student, citing privacy restrictions.
"All I can tell you is that we are aware of the situation," he said. "I have spoken with the family and with the police and we are working with both."
Stuart Levin, vice president of Wootton's PTSA, said that school officials notified him of the situation this morning, but he declined to comment further.
Choi's attorney, Megan Green of MarcusBonsib, LLC, has not returned calls from Patch.
ORIGINAL STORY April 25 2:30pm -- A 17-year-old from North Potomac plotted to steal a car in Rockville and kill someone but was arrested last week before he could carry out his plan, according to Montgomery County police and prosecutors.
Police found Steven P. Choi, 17, of the 13000 block of Riding Loop Drive, on April 18 fleeing from a shopping center at Darnestown Road and Key West Avenue with a "large kitchen knife," a note detailing his plot and latex gloves to conceal his fingerprints, according to court records. He had been "lurking" at the shopping center for hours before robbing , according to court records.
Choi has been charged as an adult with armed robbery, attempted carjacking and possession of a concealed weapon.
"The plan in this case was to take a vehicle and kill someone," near Northwest High School, Assistant State’s Attorney Ray Pilkerton said at Choi’s bail review hearing in Montgomery County District Court.
Megan Green, Choi’s attorney, asked that bail be lowered from $50,000, pointing out that he has no criminal record, has nearly all A’s at Thomas S. Wootton High School and is the son of a former NIH scientist. He also volunteers at a day care center, according to court records.
Choi recently blacked out at school, possibly in connection with lifelong medical issues, Green said, and has a family history of mental problems: His mother committed suicide a few years ago. Choi’s family wants him to receive treatment and to be in school, she said.
"I can’t explain why. … Something triggered in the last few weeks," Green said. "He needs assistance, and he’s not going to get assistance if he’s in jail."
Judge Eugene B. Wolfe kept the bail at $50,000 and ordered that Choi turn over his passports. He is a dual citizen of the United States and South Korea.
Choi’s father posted bond the next day.
While court documents and his lawyer say Choi is a junior at Wootton, school officials said they could not find record of him being a student.