MADISON, Wis. (AP/NBC 26) — A Wisconsin teenager accused of killing a 10-year-old girl will find out in September whether he will stand trial.
Chippewa County Circuit Judge Benjamin Lane on Friday scheduled a Sept. 1 preliminary hearing for the 14-year-old boy, identified in court documents as C.T.P.-B. That's the step in the criminal justice process where a judge determines if enough evidence exists to bind a defendant over for trial.
The boy was charged in adult court on April 27 with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 in connection with the killing of a 10-year-old girl. Anyone who is at least 10 years old and is accused of first- or second-degree homicide is considered an adult in Wisconsin's court system.
Due to revelations learned during court proceedings and the extreme sensitivity of this case, NBC 26 has made the editorial decision not to name or show pictures of the victim.
The girl disappeared on the night of April 24 as she was riding her bike home from her aunt's house in Chippewa Falls, according to the criminal complaint. Searchers found her body in the woods the next morning.
The boy told investigators that he was riding his hoverboard alongside the girl on a trail and he intended to sexually assault and kill her, according to the complaint.
He asked the girl to leave the trail and explore the woods with him. According to the complaint, he told investigators that once they were off the trail, he punched her, hit her with a stick, and strangled her before he sexually assaulted her body.
The boy's attorney, Michael Cohen, told Lane on Friday that he was upset that someone posted a video online that included recordings of police communications in the moments the girl's body was found and that characterized the boy as a "little monster." Cohen alleged that someone in law enforcement leaked confidential information to the poster and demanded the judge issue a gag order. He didn't specify against whom, though.
Lane asked Cohen for the link to the video and stated that anyone with access to investigatory materials should keep them confidential and their release could jeopardize the boy's right to a fair trial.