Tried as an adult or other?

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?


ME - posted on 08/12/2009




I was thinking the same thing Lisa...Attachment Disorder! Such a sad story...I also agree with Sharon...teenagers have no concept of time. Don't you all remember thinking high school would last forever...that you'd never be free of your parents (even if they were loving, good people). I've pointed out elsewhere...the frontal cortex is not fully developed until between 18-21 years old, making rational/logical thinking inconsistent at best...and impossible in some cases...I don't think she should be tried as a adult.

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Lee-Ann - posted on 08/14/2009




tough one for sure...
whichever way she is tried i hope she can put forth (or someone can put forth for her) the defense of provocation. Is she going up for manslaughter or murder? I don't think she intended to kill him,.....did she??
In the context of the situation, she was the child and he was the adult, so i think juve.

defense of provocation : "In criminal law, provocation is a possible defense by excuse or exculpation alleging a sudden or temporary loss of control (a permanent loss of control is in the realm of insanity) as a response to another's provocative conduct sufficient to justify an acquittal, a mitigated sentence or a conviction for a lesser charge. Provocation can be a relevant factor in a court's assessment of a defendant's mens rea, intention, or state of mind, at the time of an act of which the defendant is accused." - Wikipedia
Don't know if this stands in the USA, but is an available defense in the UK, Canada, Auzzie and NZ

[deleted account]

Ps. I hope no one takes my post the wrong way and thinks I am being sarcastic about anything they have written. I was being sarcastic about systems of justice and not about the views of others. I just wanted to clear that one up because I usually post an answer to the OP and read the other posts after. I then wory that I might have ticked someone off. Not my intention.

[deleted account]

In the UK she would get less than 5 years in Juvie. If thats justice then lets help our less fortunate friends in the USA and tell them they are wrong for treating murder as murder. *obvious sarcasm* Lets give her a slap on the wrist and tell people they can kill others providing they can come up with a good enough excuse.

I'm not heartless, I feel really sorry for the victim and the family. If trying her as an adult helps get justice for the victim then I'm for it.

Sarah - posted on 08/13/2009




I guess i tend to think/hope that at 13 there is a chance of rehabilitation. Perhaps given the chance she could still have a life one day.
My other thing on it is that for every other thing, drinking, driving, voting etc. she's considered a child, so why not for this??

On the flip side, i keep going back to a case here in the UK a long time ago now where 2 boys aged like 10 and 12 i think, kidnapped a boy (Jamie Bulger) aged 3 from a shopping centre, and beat him to death. I feel completely different about that case......i feel they should have been locked up for LIFE. They have been released now.

So i don't know still, and i know i'm being contradictory because in the other case i feel completely different. Hope that makes sense! :)

Deanne - posted on 08/12/2009




Quoting Sarah:

I'm not sure to be honest, i mean although i agree that at 13 she would (you would think) understand her actions and the consequences. However legally she's NOT an adult, she's a child.

What difference will it make if she's tried as a juvenile?? Will she get a lesser sentence??
Tough one! :)


It is a tough one. If she got tried as a juvenile, would she just get lost in the justice system? If she got away with this now imagine how she'd feel, getting away with murder.

& if she had threatened him before, she needs to be put away for the communities sake, especially if she comes across another 'jerk' that she could just off in a second & then gloat about it.

Konda - posted on 08/12/2009




I think kids are kids for a reason...why not allow them to vote, drink, drive....I know that as kids of 13-17 they know right from wrong, but they are still kids.

[deleted account]

If you murder someone with a knife over milk then you should be tried as an adult. What if the kid a schoold stole her seat on the bus. Would she kill that kid, what if it was your kid in school with her. I don't know what is going on with children these days. I see 10 yrs old raping 8 yr olds, a 13 old kills his mother because she took is gaming stuff away. WTF!! Something is going seriously wrong in our society. I'm not saying that trying them as adults solves anything.. but I don't think putting them in Juvenile Detention until they are 18 really does much either. ugghh. . once again, where ever they go, it's the wrong place. where was everyone's concern with these kids when their parents were neglecting them? If shit was taken care of then, maybe we wouldn't be where we are today. . o.k. I had to VENT!

Jinglebones - posted on 08/12/2009




Please - this is such an obvious case of attachment disorder that I did not want to bother responding. There is a history here - I am guessing a long and very disturbing one that a lot of people who have been involved with this family are probably thinking "it was just a matter of time". Children with Attachment Disorder come from some pretty dysfunctional, often mentally disturbed, families of origin. I usually abhor making snap judgments based on news or anecdotal reports, but this is just soooo blatant to me.

Rachel - posted on 08/12/2009




This is a really sad story and i'm not sure really as to weather she should be tried as and adult or a juvenile. She's 13, she's still a baby but she is also old enough to understand what she has done and the consequences of her actions, and she is not showing any remorse, which makes me think that he's been a pretty nasty son of a b*%#h to her in the past and that's why she's showing no remorse. It makes me wonder what he has done to her for her to want to kill him like that over pouring milk down the sink, obviously it was the last straw for her and she just could'nt take it anymore, either way it does not condone her killing him and she should be locked up weather it be in an adult prison or a juvenile one. She needs to pay for what she has done there is never ever a good reason to kill someone but we dont know what pushed her to that point and we have no idea what kind of man he was, so i feel that all of this should be concidered before they decide to put her into an adult prison, yes she's old enough to understand what she has done and maybe she should go to an adult prison but then on the other hand if has raped her, beaten her or both then i can kinda understand why she has done it and i think she should only be charged as a juvenile but still cop the full penalty for what she has done. As i said this is a really sad story and it's a hard one becasue none of us no what he did to her before all of this, as it states that this is over more than spilled milk, and that the family says that there's a history, but not only that county officials had intervened in the household on several occasions, so why was'nt something done after the 7th time???? This is what is sticking in my crawl if they had of done their job properly then maybe this man would'nt be dead and that little girl would'nt be facing a murder charge. As i said i dont know weather she should be tried as an adult or a juvenile but i still think that those county officials need to take some blame for all of this because several occasions is a little concerning and to leave children there, well thats just ridiculous and they should all loose there jobs.

Cindy - posted on 08/12/2009




Sorry. But she's an adult. He was a B%^&*D. But there are other avenues that could have been used. It's sad that another BABY felt she could murder a fellow being and not care about what would happen.

Sharon - posted on 08/12/2009




See I kind of have a problem with her being tried as an adult. Yes she understood she would go to jail. Yes she knew he would die. (that is really problematic to me)

But did she realise how long a lifetime in jail was?

Did she not realise she could be free of him in 5 years?

Young teens have no concept of the future. They understand - but talking to my 14 yr old. His year in kindergarten was like yesterday, therefore college is going to happen tomorrow.

As adults we get it. How long a year can be, especially if you're confined to a tiny little jail cell.

This case in particular, I'm a little concerned with her utter lack of remorse. I kind of get the feeling that she killed off the part of her inside that cares for others in trying to block the pain her family was forcing her to live with. In which case, I don't know if she'll ever be safe to have out in the general populace.

Sarah - posted on 08/12/2009




I'm not sure to be honest, i mean although i agree that at 13 she would (you would think) understand her actions and the consequences. However legally she's NOT an adult, she's a child.

What difference will it make if she's tried as a juvenile?? Will she get a lesser sentence??
Tough one! :)

Jessica - posted on 08/12/2009




I think she should be tried as adult. Like Allison said being a jerk doesn't justify murder. I do think its sad that no one was there to stand up for her but killing smeone is rarely justified and definitly not in this situation.

[deleted account]

She should be tried as an adult. At 13 she had the capacity to realize the outcome of her actions. regardless of what has gone in the past, pouring milk down the sink does not justify murder. This was not self-defense. This was a girl who was pissed off and did what she wanted to at that moment. It's a sad comment on today's children but society and perhaps children specifically need to realize there is a right and a wrong way to handle a situation. This was obviously the wrong way and this is the consequence for that action.

Samantha - posted on 08/12/2009




I personally think that she should be tried as an adult. She fully knew what she was doing and even told him in a earlier argument that next time she would bust him.

I can't really understand why the step grandfather would be mean like that, it probably pushed her to doing that. I really hope she gets tried as an adult. Kids these days are getting away with so much with just a slap on the wrist. She is a teenager not a baby. She can fully understand her actions.

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