Boy charged in brother's stabbing

Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2004

Juneau police have charged a 14-year-old Juneau boy with first-degree assault in the alleged stabbing of his 13-year-old brother.

The 14-year-old was lodged at the Johnson Youth Center, a state jail for youths. The 13-year-old was treated at Bartlett Regional Hospital and did not have life-threatening injuries, police Sgt. David Campbell said.

"The injuries were superficial. They were not serious," Campbell said.

Police, after receiving cooperation from the parents of the boy's friends, arrested the older boy at about 10:40 a.m. Friday in a Mendenhall Valley home, Campbell said. With the permission of the suspect's parents, police interviewed the boy and took a statement.

The parents of the boys had called police at about 10:50 p.m. Thursday from their Valley home to report that one of their sons had assaulted the other, police said.

The 13-year-old told police he had been asleep and had woken up feeling a sharp pain in his neck, accompanied by the sensation of feeling smothered, police said.

Police said the 13-year-old had been stabbed in the neck, chest and left hand by a steak knife. The suspect also had tried to suffocate the victim with a pillow, police alleged. Campbell said he did not know of a motive.

First-degree assault is a class A felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, although the usual sentence for a first-offender is six years. But because the accused is a juvenile, he likely will be adjudicated through the juvenile justice system.

Under juvenile procedures, the boy's name will not be disclosed by authorities, and his court hearings will not be open to the public. He would face being in state custody for up to two years, with the possibility of two-year renewals until he is 19, or in some cases 20.

Custody of juveniles can include being locked up in a youth center, or being placed in a residential group home, foster home or the parental home while under probation, said Kristi Helgen, regional probation supervisor for the Division of Juvenile Justice. The placement would be up to a Superior Court judge.

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