MADISON — One of the two 14-year-old girls responsible for the beating of a third 14-year-old girl appeared in juvenile court on Monday and is facing three charges for her role in the assault.
“Defendant 1,” who had her case bound over to juvenile court in March, appeared before Judge Michael Long on Monday alongside her attorney, Jason Doele.
Defendant 1 is facing charges of first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and intentional child abuse. The defendant is not being named because she is a minor.
The charges stem from a Feb. 4 incident at Defendant 1’s home in which she and another girl, who is currently being tried in district court, repeatedly struck a 14-year-old girl in the face and body by way of kicks and punches.
During a 58-second video that was posted to Snapchat, it was estimated by Sgt. James Kelley of the Norfolk Police Division that Defendant 1 had struck the victim on the face, head and body with a closed fist approximately 31 times and kicked or stomped the face, head and body seven times.
The first-degree assault charge surfaced as a result of the victim sustaining a concussion from the attack.
The conspiracy to commit assault charge is a result of evidence that multiple people present at the household during the attack had grabbed their phones to record video of the assault before the attack began, said Nathan Eckstrom, deputy county attorney.
Eckstrom said Monday that the victim, who also sustained an orbital fracture during the attack, is still suffering from lingering effects of the beating.
Besides the February incident, Defendant 1 is alleged to have been involved in multiple separate incidents similar to the one for which she is being charged, Eckstrom said.
Within the past year, Defendant 1 recorded her older sister beating up another student at school. The defendant’s sister was convicted on a charge of disturbing the peace in that incident.
“There are other incidents where these girls planned or arranged attacks that show a pattern of behavior,” Eckstrom said.
Defendant 1 denied the allegations against her last month. Doele said there isn’t sufficient evidence to charge his client with all three counts that the state is seeking to have her convicted on. A third-degree assault charge would be more suitable, he said.
The February incident was “horrible,” Doele said, but Defendant 1 is young and has aspirations to work in the medical field someday. He previously said in court that the defendant would “tremendously” benefit from diversion programs set forth by the juvenile court system.
Defendant 1 has been on house arrest since March 29, and she is scheduled to stand trial on Monday, May 24, at 9 a.m.
Eckstrom said the victim of the assault is expected to provide witness testimony at trial, as are at least two of the people who were present at Defendant 1’s home during the beating. It wasn’t expected as of Monday that the co-defendant would provide testimony, Eckstrom said.
Long will preside over the trial, which is expected to last about a day.
If convicted, Defendant 1 could face probation time or possibly be ordered to be housed at the Youth Rehabilitation & Treatment Center (YRTC) in Kearney. The maximum punishment handed down to Defendant 1 would expire when she turns 19.