14-year-old denies deliberate homicide conspiracy charge
A 14-year-old Columbus girl appeared in Youth Court last week and denied plotting with two others to torture and kill a fourth youth last month.
Specifically, the girl is accused of committing conspiracy to commit deliberate homicide when she “plotted with two others to kill another person…plotted on the place, the time, and the methods to use in the plan to torture and kill (the intended victim,” according to a petition for delinquency filed by Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde.
The girl, who was handcuffed and shackled at the waist, was accompanied by both parents at a court hearing last Thursday. Youth Court Judge Blair Jones asked the girl if she admitted or denied the charge of one felony count of conspiracy to commit deliberate homicide.
“Deny, sir,” she responded.
The girl had been in detention since her May 19 arrest and Rohde requested that bail be left at $25,000 until an evaluation could be done. Defense attorney Greg Paskell asked that the girl be released to her mother and put on restricted cell phone use, arguing that no actual violence had been alleged.
Calling the case “rather severe and troubling to the court,” Jones held the $25,000 bond in place, but gave Youth Court Officer Lindsey Fox discretion on where to place the girl once an evaluation is done.
As of Tuesday morning, she remained in detention.
According to court documents, school officials received a letter from an adult indicating the young teenager was “planning to kill another child/student.” The school contacted law enforcement on May 18.
The student had allegedly planned to enlist the help of two others and lure the victim to her house. Once there, she planned to tie the victim to a chair in the basement and “kill him with a crow bar,” according to court documents.
An adult overheard the girl and one of the people she planned to have help her with the killing.
The other party said he did not want anything to do with it and thought the girl was just pranking the victim, according to court documents.
The adult told investigators the conversation “made her blood run cold” and that she believed the girl was in fact going to commit the killing, according to court documents.
All the parties involved attend the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch. The girl was arrested, May 19, and is being held in a youth detention facility in Billings.
The Stillwater County Attorney’s Office has filed a petition for delinquency in the case. The investigation is ongoing by the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office.