The 15-year-old Hagerstown girl critically injured in a rock-throwing incident on the Capital Beltway in May has uttered her first words since emerging from a coma, a hospital spokeswoman said yesterday.
Destiny Morris, who is undergoing rigorous therapy at the Alfred I. DuPont Institute in Wilmington, Del., told nurses yesterday that she wanted to go home, hospital spokeswoman Terri Heavens said.
"This isn't just stream-of-consciousness muttering. She is putting together sentences," Heavens said. "She doesn't have much strength or volume, but what she is saying definitely makes sense."
Destiny, who originally was not expected to live, lay for more than two months in a coma before awakening in late July. She now is able to sit unassisted, can feed herself pureed food and is responding to stimuli, Heavens said.
Destiny, who was struck in the head by a paving rock that crashed through the pickup truck in which she was sleeping, was the most seriously injured in the stone throwing that occurred in the early morning hours of May 27 on the Capital Beltway near Livingston Road in Oxon Hill. More than 21 motorists were struck by stones. Several were hospitalized with broken bones, police said.
Maurice Edward Ford and John Lavin Burgess, both 18, and Donnell Richard Petite, 17, have been charged as adults with assault with intent to murder, assault with the intent to maim and malicious destruction of property.
Police said three youths hurled landscaping stones, weighing five to 15 pounds, at cars traveling along the Beltway about 2:30 a.m. May 27. According to a police affadavit, Ford told police that he, Burgess and Petite had been drinking to celebrate his upcoming graduation from Oxon Hill High School.
Ford and Burgess were released on bond after their bail, initially set at $150,000, was reduced to $25,000. They have been ordered held on home detention until their trial.
A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge ruled in July that Petite, who turns 18 in September, should be tried as an adult, citing the seriousness of the crime. Petite also is being held on home detention on a $15,000 bond, according to jail records.