A 13-year-old accused of killing step-grandfather over glass of spilled milk is led from a Milwaukee County courtroom Aug 11, 2009.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
MILWAUKEE (AP) 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.
The girl, whom a witness told police had 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 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 the girl went shopping with her mother and Moon's stepdaughter, Denitra Aldridge, and brought groceries back to the house.
Aldridge and the girl poured bowls of cereal, but when they tried to add milk Moon sarcastically told the 13-year-old she could have some only after Aldridge's child was served, authorities said.
Aldridge told investigators the girl responded with a profane outburst, adding "Next time I'm going to bust you."
Prosecutors said 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?" the girl said, according to the complaint.
Aldridge told authorities the 13-year-old 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 the girl threaten Moon with knives but never use them.
The girl 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 the girl step outside with blood on her.
"I told you, I stabbed him! I cut his throat! He's dead," the teen 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 the girl 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 had previously identified the suspect because she was charged in adult court; Judicial Court Commissioner Kevin Costello ordered Tuesday that the media cease publishing her name because the case may get sent to juvenile court. The AP plans to challenge that decision.
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