The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Breaking News

June 3, 2014

Attorney: Girl in Slenderman stabbing deserves juvenile court

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin's tough laws requiring children be charged as adults in homicide cases could mean a 12-year-old girl accused of stabbing a friend won't get help she needs, her attorney said Tuesday.

Waukesha County prosecutors have charged two 12-year-old girls in adult court with stabbing a friend the same age nearly to death in the woods. The girls told detectives they conspired for months to kill the other girl in hopes of pleasing Slenderman, a bogeyman character they read about online. Each girl faces one count of first-degree attempted homicide with a knife enhancer and could get up to 65 years in the state prison system.

In Wisconsin, anyone 10 or older charged with homicide is automatically considered an adult. Four states have the next youngest threshold for that, at 13.

Anthony Cotton, an attorney for one of the girls, said he believed the two may be the youngest ever charged as adults in the county. He said he plans to push to get his client transferred to juvenile court, where he said she can get help. The state's juvenile system is geared toward rehabilitation rather than punishment; offenders can be held only until they're 25 years old.

"She's 12 and she has mental health issues," Cotton said of his client. "There's no question that she needs to go to the hospital."

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel called adult court a starting point for the case and noted that the allegations haven't been proven. But he added that one could argue the girls deserve a harsher punishment than confinement until age 25.

"I realize they're only 12," said Schimel, who is running for attorney general. "But so is the victim and she came very close to not seeing her 13th birthday."

According to court documents, the girls invited the victim to a sleepover Friday. They planned to stab her while she slept to become Slenderman's "proxies," Cotton's client told investigators. They planned to run off to Slenderman's forest mansion after the victim was dead.

They decided to kill her on Saturday instead. They went into the woods, where one girl pushed the victim down and sat on her. The girls then traded the knife back and forth between them before one of them finally tackled the victim again and began stabbing her, according to the complaint.

The girls left the victim lying in the woods. She crawled to a road where a bicyclist found her lying on the sidewalk. Police arrived and she gave them the name of one of the girls who attacked her.

Cotton said he didn't know if the allegations were true but if they were his client would have started plotting the attack when she was only 11. She needs help, not prison, he said.

Juvenile arrests for homicide are relatively rare. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, of about 9.3 million juvenile arrests between 2007 and 2011, some 5,640 — less than half a percent — were for homicide or manslaughter. Forty-one of those homicide or manslaughter arrests were females.

Wisconsin is one of 29 states that automatically place juveniles of certain ages in adult court, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The statutes require that anyone 10 or older charged with attempted or committed homicide is an adult; lawmakers created the provision in 1996 to counter a rise in youths involved with gangs, drugs and guns. Georgia, Illinois, New York and Oklahoma set the age for some automatic adult charges at 13.

Cotton said he plans to have a doctor evaluate the girl and present the findings to prosecutors in hopes they wouldn't oppose moving her into juvenile court. He then plans to present those findings to a judge, although he said it could be months before a decision comes.

His client told a detective she regretted the incident. The other girl told detectives they both stabbed the victim. At one point that girl said she was sorry.

The other girl's attorney, public defender Joseph Smith, Jr., didn't return a telephone message.

The Associated Press isn't naming either girl since their cases could end up in juvenile court where proceedings are closed to the public. Court documents don't list the victim's name.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Toyota to boost SUV production at Indiana factory Toyota says it will spend $100 million to boost production of the Highlander SUV at its southwestern Indiana factory, with plans to add 300 workers in the next couple of years.

    August 22, 2014

  • 18 people rescued from flooded Indiana homes Northwestern Indiana police say firefighters used boats to rescue 18 people after flood waters from heavy overnight rains surrounded their homes.

    August 22, 2014

  • NWS -  HB0823 - Fire-Rozelle Johnson - JC 28a.jpg Lightning might have caused Anderson funeral home fire

    A lightning strike is suspected of starting a fire at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Services, Ind. 32 and Rangeline Road, early Friday morning.

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

    Arkansas coach Bret Bielema proudly posted a message on Twitter last spring that featured the Razorbacks' new helmets — a futuristic design by Riddell called the SpeedFlex that is supposed to be the latest in head protection.

    August 22, 2014

  • Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

    A trade group for the nation's big airlines predicts that air travel over the Labor Day weekend will rise 2 percent from the same holiday last year.

    August 22, 2014

  • Some US colleges calling students back from Israel

    Some U.S. colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, though the relative calm beyond the immediate battle areas is raising questions in some quarters about why they had to leave.

    August 21, 2014

  • Instant noodles: Friend or foe?

    Kim Min-koo has an easy reply to new American research that hits South Korea where it hurts — in the noodles. "There's no way any study is going to stop me from eating this," says Kim.

    August 21, 2014

  • Ohio diocese discourages ALS ice bucket challenge

    A Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio is discouraging its 113 schools from participating in the ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association, saying the group's funding of embryonic stem cell research is "in direct conflict with Catholic teaching."

    August 21, 2014

  • Charter school to close after cheating revealed

    One of Indianapolis' oldest charter schools will close next month, after an investigation uncovered widespread cheating on its students' state standardized tests in 2013 and 2014.

    August 21, 2014

  • Severe thunderstorm watch until midnight

    The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for portions of central Indiana, including Madison County.

    August 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Generally speaking, how good are relations among people of different races in the Anderson area?

Very good
Good
OK
Bad
Very bad
     View Results