14-year-old Accused in Hanging of Half-Sister

A St. Clair County official said that on Thursday, May 10, 9-year-old  Katelynn Arnold was found hanging from a tree near her home.  This homicide they believe, was deliberately performed by the girl’s 14-year-old brother.

Katelynn Arnold’s aunt found the girl hanging from a tree near their home.  According to St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles, both Katelynn and her half-brother lived with their aunt and uncle who were serving as their foster parents.

The boy was being held at the Coosa Valley Detention Center in Aniston after being charged with murder.  His name was not released.  The boy admitted killing his 9-year-old half-sister by hanging her from the rope.  He did give officials a motive, but the motive was not released by the sheriff’s office.

According to Sheriff Surles, the little girl was riding her bike when her half-brother called her over near a tree.  After noticing Kate’lynn was missing around 7 p.m., her aunt drove around looking for the girl for approximately 45 minutes before finding her hanging from the tree.  She then called deputies.  By the time investigators arrived, rescuers had removed the girl from the tree.  She was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m. at St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital.

After the girl was found and taken to the hospital, the boy went to bed.  Surles stated that he was arrested between 2 and 3 a.m.

Neighbor Ricky Campbell, whose daughter often played with the slain girl, could only shake his head when thinking about Katelynn’s death.  “She never got a chance to grow up.  Her life was taken away,” he said.  Campbell said he never saw any real signs of trouble out of the boy.  “He’d run off and do crazy things, but I never believed he’d do something like that.  It’s a bad situation,” Campbell said.

What will happen to the boy?  Will he be tried as an adult?  If a 14-year-old told you he was old enough to be treated as a grown-up in every respect, you would probably roll your eyes or laugh out loud.  We all know people that age are still children, which is why we don’t let them drive, vote, or buy alcohol.  About the only way a 14-year-old can warrant adult treatment is to commit murder, which is what happened in this case.

Stakes are high in a murder charge.  An experienced criminal defense lawyer has the resources to offer you a powerful defense, which can result in charges being dropped or reduced before the trial.

The original article can be found here.

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