Hearings underway to determine if teen will be prosecuted as an adult for murdering sister
Manheim Township, Pennsylvania: 16-year-old Claire Miller was 14 years old when she repeatedly stabbed her 19-year-old sister in her sleep on February 22, 2021. At the time, Miller is reported to have met officers outside, standing barefoot in the snow in blood-covered clothing and said, "I stabbed my sister."
She was charged with a single count of homicide as an adult. Now, hearings have been going on this week in order to determine whether or not her case will remain in adult court or be transferred to juvenile court.
Lancaster County Judge David Workman is expected to announce his decision on July 18, 2022.
During the hearing disturbing details of Miller's statements as well as revelations about her mental health were presented in court.
Prosecutors presented testimony from Manheim Township Police Detective Jonathan Martin concerning events at the police station following Miller's arrest.
Reportedly after hearing a notification on his phone that was from the theme song to Halloween Miller volunteered "I Michael Myers'ed my sister."
When breakfast was brought to her at the station Martin reported that Miller had stated, "Oooh, McDonalds. I would have killed someone sooner if I knew that I was going to get McDonalds."
Additionally, the prosecution presented information about text messages exchanged between Miller and a friend discussing her fascination with violence and homicide.
"It's clear at this point that she was fantasizing for weeks and months about committing a homicide, and she did," Assistant District Attorney Amy Muller said. "She came up with this on her own. She carried it out on her own. And now she has to face the consequences on her own."
The defense however, presented other text messages.
Attorney Robert Beyer read texts where Miller documented a conversation with herself. In that conversation, she reportedly told herself to keep her eyes on the computer because she would see "bad things" if she looked away.
Beyer said that mental illness is a main issue in the case saying, "The only explanation for how this can happen... is a psychotic first break," he said, referencing a psychiatrist's evaluation of Miller.
That psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Rushing, testified in court on Monday explaining that Miller said there was a "boy me and a girl me that were separate from herself and not just her thoughts." Allegedly the female voice would tell her she was no good and encourage her to hurt herself and drink her own blood. She alleged that the make voice was kind and both voices argued.
Marie Miller took the stand in her daughter's defense saying, "I know Claire did not want to do this. We lost Helen and I don't want to lose Claire, too." She described Miller as a former straight-A student that pressured herself to excel.
According to her parents, the issues began when she was about 13 years old. At that time, she told her father that she felt as though she was meant to be a boy.
Lancaster Online states that there are seven factors that Workman must consider when making his ruling which include the offense's impact on the victim, the threat posed by the juvenile, the nature and circumstances of the offense and how amenable to treatment, supervision or rehabilitation the defendant would be within a juvenile setting.
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