A 15-year-old girl convicted of assaulting the mother of a teenage stabbing victim in Lakeside earlier this year — an incident prosecutors said was a hate crime — was sentenced Wednesday to a 120-day home detention program.
In sending the teenager to the program, called “Urban Camp,” Superior Court Judge Rohanee Zapanta rejected opposing requests from the prosecutor and defense attorney.
Deputy public prosecutor Hung Bach asked Zapada to sentence the teenager to two years, arguing that the girl “acted out her racist thoughts and hostility”.
“Anything less than two years will send a negative message to the public,” he said.
Defense attorney Kate Tesch said the case is in Juvenile Court and the defendant is a “15-year-old human.”
“To suggest that this case should be used to send a message to the public is inappropriate,” Tesch said. “This is not the forum for sending messages to the public.”
He called for the girl to be released to attend an intensive treatment program, arguing that the behavior was “the result of the complexity of her history”.
Zapata said there are no winners in a case that “involves hate and the consequences of hate.”
Sentencing in Juvenile Court is generally oriented toward rehabilitation, not punishment.
The case arises from knife in a lakeside apartment complex during a confrontation of a group of neighbors in April.
Prosecutors said a 16-year-old girl was stabbed and her mother threatened with a makeshift weapon – a trench drainage grate about 2 feet long.
The stabbing victim and her mother are Black. Prosecutors said the girl sentenced Wednesday had hurled racial slurs at the victim’s family hours before the stabbing.
The girl and her boyfriend, also a teenager, were charged with the assault and threats. The boy too faces hate crime charges. The boy is accused of using a racial slur during the stabbing, according to trial testimony.
After a three-day bench trial last month, Mr girl found guilty assault on the victim’s mother who stabbed him when he threatened the woman with the grate, a piece of hard, thick plastic used in landscaping to prevent debris from flowing into drain pipes. Witnesses said he was wielding the long, thin grill like a baseball bat. The woman was not hit.
Her boyfriend is charged with attempted murder, accused of stabbing the victim twice in the back. His trial date has not been set. prosecutors are seeking to try him as an adult.
The case caught the attention of racial justice advocates in the area, including Yusef Miller, co-founder of the North County Equity and Justice Coalition. He was in court Wednesday for the hearing. He said he supports the rehabilitative approach for youth, but feels 120 days “is almost enough to rehabilitate and neutralize these racist ideologies and remove them from their thought pattern.”
The names of the defendants are not being released publicly, as their cases are handled in Juvenile Court, where proceedings are usually confidential. The judge granted access to court proceedings, which is allowed under state law in cases involving charges of certain violent crimes.
During the girl’s trial last month, witnesses said there were previous animosities between the youths, and those tensions flared during the confrontation at the Mapleview Street apartment complex.
According to reports, the 16-year-old stabbing victim, her younger sister and their mother were returning home from a family outing around 11pm on April 16.
As they walked up a flight of stairs to their apartment, a group of neighbors approached, including the defendant and her boyfriend.
The boy met the family on the stairs, accusing the sisters of assaulting his family member. As he faced them, his girlfriend was holding the drain grate like a baseball bat. He was at the bottom of the stairs, in front of mother.
One of the daughters said she rushed down the stairs, jumped in front of her mother to protect her and confronted the accused. The teenage girls pushed each other, according to her testimony.
Then the daughter was stabbed from behind. She said she heard the boy hurl and felt “pressure” on her back. It crashed into nearby grass.
Girl found guilty of assault, hate crime in Lakeside stabbing ordered to 120-day in-custody program Source link Girl found guilty of assault, hate crime in Lakeside stabbing ordered to 120-day in-custody program