Hearing for Mundelein girl accused of killing half sister cont. - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Hearing for Mundelein girl accused of killing half sister expected to continue

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The 14-year-old Mundelein girl accused of killing her 11-year-old half sister on Jan. 21 is expected to appear in juvenile court today, but a decision has not yet been made on whether she will be tried as an adult, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.

Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said Thursday that he is still gathering evidence prior to making a decision on whether to charge the defendant as an adult, and that he expected Friday's hearing to be continued.

The girl has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and is being held in the Depke Juvenile Justice Complex in Vernon Hills. The eighth-grader is currently charged as a delinquent minor.

Her defense attorney, Michael Conway, has said his goal is to keep her in juvenile court, and that he and the family plan to retain the services of a psychologist to help assess the defendant as Conway prepares a mitigation report.

If the girl is convicted or pleads guilty as a juvenile, as she is currently charged, she could be held in juvenile custody up until her 21st birthday or, under some circumstances, could be placed in a monitored outside home.

Officials have said that if she is tried and convicted as an adult, she would be held in juvenile custody for several years but then could be transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve an adult prison term for first-degree murder, which can range from 20 to 60 years. The defendant's parents and relatives have attended juvenile hearings with her, but have not commented on the case.

The girl allegedly stabbed her 11-year-old half sister on the morning of Jan. 21 in a fit of anger, with officials saying she told the victim that she did not appreciate the work she did for her as she repeatedly stabbed the girl with a knife.

According to officials, the girl initially told police an intruder killed her half-sister, leading to a brief lockdown of nearby schools.

She later confessed when confronted with evidence including hair strands found in the victim's hands.

Sun-Times Media is not naming the victim because she shares a name with the minor charged in the case.

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