Girls stabbed at Modesto sleepover are making recovery

04/07/2014 1:45 PM

04/07/2014 7:28 PM

Two 13-year-old girls stabbed over the weekend are in stable condition, and the 11-year-old victim who suffered the most serious injuries is improving, Modesto police reported Monday.

Police said the girls were stabbed early Saturday during a sleepover at the home of the 13-year-old suspect and her 11-year-old sister in the 2600 block of East Orangeburg Avenue.

Investigators believe one of the 13-year-olds stabbed her friend and her sister before stabbing herself. Police Sgt. Ivan Valencia said detectives recovered a kitchen knife they believe was used in the attack.

“The first thing we wanted to do was rule out that this was a random act and that we didn’t have (an outside suspect) out there,” Valencia said.

He said there was no sign of forced entry into the home, no footprints or broken windows. The only other people in the home were the girls’ parents. The mother heard screaming from the bedroom the girls were in and called 911, Valencia said.

Detectives interviewed the sisters’ parents and eventually the 13-year-old police now believe to be responsible for the attack.

Valencia would not comment on what could have caused the attack because he said detectives still need to interview the 13-year-old victim.

He said there was no evidence any of the girls were using drugs or alcohol.

Valencia said it’s not yet clear whether the 13-year-old suspect could face charges, but an arrest isn’t imminent.

“We’re compiling everything and then we’ll submit it to the (Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office) for review,” he said.

He said police and prosecutors likely will meet with probation and social services to determine the best course of action.

This is not a situation in which the 13-year-old suspected of the stabbing would be charged as an adult, Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley said. “14 years old is the absolute lowest you can direct file (charge a minor as an adult) by statute,” she said in an email.

“And to direct file on anyone under 16, it must be a ‘life’ offense – murder, gang enhancement violent crimes, serious sex offenses, etc. Even if we did not direct file, but pursued a fitness hearing in Juvenile (court), the youngest age remains 14,” Shipley said.

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