Hearing about Snohomish High stabbing suspect delayed until March

EVERETT — The decision about whether a Snohomish girl will be tried as an adult for allegations that she attempted to murder a fellow student and assaulted a second has been pushed to March.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes was told Friday that the defense’s expert requires more time to complete his evaluation of the girl. He has at least two more interviews to conduct and plans to give the girl one more test, said Caroline Mann, a lawyer with the Snohomish County Public Defender’s Association.

The girl, 15, has been locked up at Denney Juvenile Justice Center since the Oct. 24 attack at Snohomish High School.

Downes agreed to continue the hearing for another month given the gravity of the charges against the teen and the significant difference in potential punishment if the case is moved to adult court.

The girl is accused of attacking two freshmen in a school bathroom before the start of classes. April Lutz, 15, was critically wounded, suffering life-threatening stab wounds to her heart. Her friend, Bekah Staudacher, 15, also was slashed and stabbed as she tried to stop the attack.

The suspect didn’t know the girls, according to court papers. She allegedly told Snohomish police detectives that she planned to stab someone when she stowed two kitchen knives in her backpack before school.

The girl had been suspended from the high school in April after two other students complained that she had made threats to kill one girl’s boyfriend.

She was allowed to return to classes a couple of weeks later after school officials received a note from a mental health professional who concluded that she was safe to be in school. The girl was seeing a counselor and taking medications before the knife attack.

Prosecutors charged the girl with attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault. They filed a motion to move the case to adult court. Lawyers on Friday set a new hearing for March 7.

April told The Herald last month that she remembers the attack and her friends and classmates coming to her aid. Doctors and her family called April’s quick recovery from her physical injuries a miracle.

She returned to classes after the winter break, school officials said Friday. Bekah went back to school in November.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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