Originally published April 27
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) -- A judge in western Wisconsin on Wednesday ordered that the boy arrested in the killing of Lily Peters be held on a $1 million cash bond after hearing that the teenage suspect allegedly admitted to killing and raping the 10-year-old girl.
At an afternoon hearing, Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell presented the criminal complaint, identifying the suspect as a 14-year-old boy and an eighth grader who's lived in Chippewa County his entire life. The boy's name was not released; he was referred to only as C.P.B. He appeared in court via video, keeping his head lowered and not addressing the court.
The boy is facing charges of first-degree murder, as well as two charges of sexual assault. Two of the charges carry the maximum penalty of life in prison. Per Wisconsin law, the case will automatically start in adult court, although the defense can request that it be moved.
According to prosecutors, the boy confessed to investigators that he intended to rape and kill Peters "from the get-go" on Sunday evening, when he followed her on a trail as she left her aunt's home. The boy allegedly admitted to punching the girl, hitting her with a stick, strangling her, and sexually assaulting her.
Peters' father called police Sunday night after his daughter failed to return home from her aunt's house. Her body was found Monday morning in the woods, not far from the trail, near the Leinenkugel's brewery parking lot, which is near both residences.
The boy was arrested Tuesday, the same day a search warrant was executed at a residence owned by Peters' aunt. Investigators said that the boy and Peters knew each other.
At the court hearing, prosecutors asked Judge Ben Lane to hold the boy on a $1 million cash bond, arguing that he poses a threat to the community. The boy's defense asked for a $100,000 bond, saying that he has virtually no ability to raise money and that he isn't a flight risk since he can't drive.
The judge ordered that the boy be held on the $1 million cash bond. In light of the allegations presented by prosecutors, he described the teenager as "a serious threat to the community," and said the court would be concerned if he were released.
Several law enforcement members were in the courtroom during the hearing. It did not appear that any of Peters' relatives were present.
A second hearing was set for May 5. The criminal complaint remains sealed. The boy is being held in a juvenile detention facility in Eau Claire.
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