Stabbed 13-year-old doesn’t want criminal charges against friend, relative says

04/08/2014 2:12 PM

04/08/2014 11:00 PM

The 13-year-old girl police believe was stabbed by her friend during a weekend sleepover in Modesto has returned home and is improving, according to family.

“Brittany is resilient, she is not having nightmares. ... I don’t think she is in shock, but she is doing way better than we ever expected,” said her adult cousin Jennifer Meraz. She asked that Brittany’s last name be withheld to protect her privacy.

Meraz said Brittany was stabbed in the upper left side of her chest while she was sleeping at her friend’s home in the 2600 block of East Orangeburg Avenue early Saturday. Police said the 13-year-old girl suspected of the attack also is believed to have stabbed her 11-year-old sister before stabbing herself. Police have not released the names of the girls involved.

Meraz said Brittany and her friend met in their special-needs class at school. She said Brittany has delayed learning as a result of a nearly fatal case of whooping cough she endured as an infant.

Maraz doesn’t know why Brittany’s friend is in the class or what her needs are, but she said Brittany and her mother are not angry with her about the attack and want her to get counseling rather than face criminal charges.

“Brittany still considers her a friend; she definitely doesn’t have any hard feelings,” Meraz said. “She knows what happened, what caused it.” Meraz declined to say what Brittany believes precipitated the attack, saying investigators still needed to interview the other 13-year-old.

Modesto police Sgt. Ivan Valencia said detectives have interviewed the suspected girl. He said she and her sister remain hospitalized but are improving.

Attempts by The Modesto Bee to reach the girls’ parents have been unsuccessful.

Valencia said detectives will meet with prosecutors from the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office to determine the best course of action in the case. He said Brittany’s family has expressed to detectives the desire not to pursue criminal charges against her friend.

Meraz has started a fundraiser to help her cousin’s family with expenses for Brittany’s recovery. To donate, visit http://bit.ly/1lOrtS0.

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