Defense attorney: 14-year-old didn’t suffer serious bodily injury in February attack | Select
MADISON – One of the 14-year-old girls who was involved in videotaping another 14-year-old girl in February appeared in the district court on Tuesday.
The girl, referred to as “Defendant 2” because of her age, appeared before Judge James Kube to open a hearing on mitigation with her attorney Brad Ewalt. The defendant’s mother also appeared in court.
In March, Defendant 2’s defense filed the plea, which means the case will not move forward until Kube grants permission to reopen the hearings.
Ewalt argued that the February 4 attack, in which two girls repeatedly beat another girl in a minute-long video, did not result in serious bodily harm to the victim.
“We talk about the injury, not the act. The injury was a concussion, ”said Ewalt. “There were no broken bones or problems with impairment. My argument is that the victim’s concussion does not constitute serious bodily harm. “
Believing that the prosecution could not prove that the victim had sustained grievous bodily harm, the case should not have been taken to a district court and the attack should have been changed to a less significant charge.
“Physical injury carries a significant risk of death, a significant risk of permanent disfigurement or loss of vision or hearing,” said Ewalt.
On February 9, Assistant District Attorney Nathan Eckstrom told police that the victim had been diagnosed with a concussion, which is an element of first-degree attacks.
Eckstrom forwarded discharge documents from Faith Regional Health Services to police, showing the victim had been diagnosed with a concussion on February 6.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Kiernan asked Kube in court on Tuesday to review the evidence record presented by police. The state is confident enough evidence has been presented to bind the case, he said.
“Any injury to an organ in the body – in this case the brain – can cause serious harm and injury to the victim as a whole,” said Kiernan.
According to Sgt. James Kelley of the Norfolk Police Division, Defendant 2, the victim was hit in the face, head and body approximately 22 times with his fists closed, and he kicked and stomped the victim seven times in the face, head and body.
Kelley said he did not see the victim beat any of the perpetrators in the video. She spent most of the attack protecting her head and face, he said.
Kube took the motion under discussion and informed both parties that he would make a decision on how the case should proceed “as soon as possible”.
The next appearance of Defendant 2 in court will be determined by the judgment of Kube. It has been free since the bond was released in February.
If convicted in a district court of first degree bodily harm, a class 2 crime, Defendant 2 faces a prison sentence of 1 to 50 years.
The defendant could still have her case pegged to a juvenile court, where sentences tend to focus more on rehabilitation programs and community service than incarceration.
Defendant 1, in whose house the attack took place, had her case pending in a juvenile court in March. A preliminary trial for Defendant 1 is scheduled for Monday, May 10th.
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