Thursday, October 29, 2009

15-Year-Old Girl Held in Slaying of Elizabeth Olten

15-Year-Old Girl Held in Slaying of Elizabeth Olten: "Earlier Wednesday, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem said the suspect in Elizabeth's killing would remain in custody pending a decision about whether the 15-year-old should be tried as an adult or as a juvenile. An attorney for the suspect waived a scheduled detention hearing Wednesday that was to be closed to the public.

The suspect's name has not been released but local media, ABC News and HLN all identified the suspect as a teenage girl.

Beetem also ruled Wednesday that a Nov. 18 hearing on whether to try the teenager as an adult would be open to the public. However, the judge is barring the recording or broadcasting of that hearing and is not permitting photographs from it.

Kurt Valentine, the teen's lawyer, said Elizabeth's death has put Jefferson City in 'turmoil,' and had argued that opening the hearing could hamper the chances for a fair trial.
'There's been a lot of speculation, but now we will have in giant headlines my client's name,' Valentine said. 'There is no way in the world that could possibly be in the best interest of this particular juvenile.'

Samantha Green, the attorney for the juvenile office, argued that the state Supreme Court has ruled that hearings can be open for juveniles accused of crimes that would be the most serious felonies if committed by an adult. She said court records and the exhibits to be presented could be closed or sealed to protect the suspect's privacy."

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