Psychological exam planned for Mundelein teen
Attorneys for a 14-year-old Mundelein girl accused in the stabbing death of her 11-year-old half-sister in January said they hope to have a psychologist examine the teen "sooner than later."
Waukegan defense attorney Michael Conway said they are still hoping to keep the case in juvenile court rather than have the teen charged as an adult in Dora Betancourt's death.
"We hope to have her psychological evaluation completed very quickly," Conway said after a brief hearing Friday at the Robert W. Depke Juvenile Justice Complex near Vernon Hills. "As we have said since the beginning, we are still moving to keep it in juvenile court."
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said he hasn't decided whether to charge the teen as an adult. He said he wants to meet with counselors and the family, then review documentation before making a final decision.
"I want to go into this as objective as I can," Nerheim said. "Once I have all the information, I'll make as educated a decision as possible."
The Daily Herald is not publishing the 14-year-old's name out of respect for court instructions that she not be identified.
The Mundelein teen has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder after she was accused of stabbing Betancourt at the Mundelein home the two shared.
Authorities said Betancourt was stabbed more than 30 times with a kitchen knife in her bedroom. The girls were home alone at the time, authorities said.
Authorities said the 14-year-old confessed that she killed her half-sister because she felt unappreciated.
Should the case remain in juvenile court, the teen could be sentenced to a juvenile detention facility until she is 21. If she's charged as an adult, the prison sentenced could be much longer.
The next hearing date is scheduled for March 14.