Sharon - posted on 08/12/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )
Girl, 13, Charged In Fatal Stabbing Over Milk
Attorney: Long-Simmering Feud Existed Between Girl, Step-Grandfather
DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press Writer
Posted: 1:53 pm PDT August 11, 2009
Updated: 6:03 am PDT August 12, 2009
MILWAUKEE -- A long-simmering feud between a 13-year-old girl and her step-grandfather erupted after the man allegedly poured her milk down the drain, prompting the girl to fatally stab him in the neck, court documents said.
Labrina T. Brown, who allegedly threatened Robert A. Moon with knives before, told an officer who responded, "I killed him," and said to a neighbor, "I'm not afraid to go to jail for this," according to the criminal complaint against her.
The Milwaukee girl is charged as an adult with first-degree reckless homicide, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison. At an initial appearance Tuesday in Milwaukee County Children's Court, she was ordered held on $150,000 cash bond.
Her mother and grandmother declined to speak with The Associated Press after the hearing.
Public defender Joy Sherard told the AP that county officials had intervened in the household on several occasions in the past but she declined to elaborate, citing concern for the family's privacy.
"This is about more than spilled milk," she said. "The family would like everyone to know there's a history here."
In their criminal complaint, prosecutors said the confrontation began Saturday after Brown went shopping with her mother and Moon's stepdaughter, Denitra Aldridge, and brought groceries back to the house.
Aldridge and Brown poured bowls of cereal, but when they tried to add milk Moon sarcastically told Brown she could have some only after Aldridge's child was served, authorities said.
Aldridge told investigators Brown responded with a profane outburst, adding "Next time I'm going to bust you."
Prosecutors said the 48-year-old Moon dumped what was left of the milk down the drain and turned his back, taking a glass of milk into the living room, apparently to prepare it for the baby.
"Why the ---- would you do that?" Brown said, according to the complaint.
Aldridge told authorities Brown grabbed a paring knife with a 2- to 3-inch handle from the sink and charged after Moon. Aldridge told investigators she previously had seen Brown threaten Moon with knives but never use them.
Brown knocked the milk out of Moon's hand, and when he turned, she swung at him, according to the complaint. Aldridge said she thought Moon had been punched in the face, but then saw he was covered in blood.
"She stabbed me, she stabbed me in the neck," Moon said, his voice weakening as he collapsed, the complaint said.
Authorities said a neighbor heard a commotion, then saw Brown step outside with blood on her.
"I told you, I stabbed him! I cut his throat! He's dead," Brown told the neighbor, according to the complaint, later adding, "I'm not afraid to go to jail for this."
State law mandates that children older than 10 accused of first-degree intentional or reckless homicide be charged in adult court, said district attorney John Chisholm. He said the case should remain in adult court, although he expected the defense would seek to have the case returned to juvenile court.
"I would oppose that at this stage," Chisholm said.
Although Brown was charged as an adult, she would either be held in a juvenile facility or be segregated from other prisoners in an adult facility, he said.
The Associated Press resumed identifying Brown after Chief Judge Marshall Murray granted the media permission to use her name. Judicial Court Commissioner Kevin Costello had earlier imposed a ban on identifying her, and the AP challenged that decision.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
For a change a reporter really got a lot of background and I'm faintly impressed.
I've always been sort of bothered by trying obvious children as adults. To be sure - some older teens are fully cognizant of the repercussions and deserve to be tried as adults. I'm also certain that some younger teens were never really children to begin with and know what jail or prison are and are also fully cognizant of the repercussions.
But this case...
Should she be tried as an adult or juvenile?
Was her reaction understandable in the face of such an abusive adult?
Considering her whole familys' knowledge of the situation - do you think she had any other option open to her?