A 14-year-old suburban Chicago girl accused of fatally stabbing her 11-year-old half-sister pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder during a brief Friday morning court appearance.
The teen, whom NBC Chicago is not naming, remains charged as a juvenile. The Lake County State's Attorney's Office could still motion to have the case transferred to adult court.
Judge Valerie Ceckowski explained that if tried as a juvenile, the teen will have a bench trial and could be sentenced to juvenile detention or a separate residential facility until age 21.
The judge also ordered the teen be evaluated by a psychologist before her next hearing, which was scheduled for Feb. 14.
Authorities were called to a home on the 1600 block of Woodhaven Court in Mundelein last Tuesday morning on a report of an unconscious juvenile. Once there, they found the 11-year-old dead in a bedroom. The coroner said the girl had been stabbed 30 times in the neck, chest and arms.
Prosecutors said that after the stabbing, the 14-year-old girl called police and told them there was a Hispanic male intruder stabbing her little sister. She again told the story at the crime scene and during police interviews. When detectives told her later in the afternoon they had strands of hair that would eventually point to the real suspect, the girl admitted she did it, prosecutors said. She submitted oral and written statements indicating she committed the crime because the younger girl didn't appreciate her, officials said.
Hours after police announced charges, a group called Mundelein Moms was formed and immediately set up a web site to raise funds for the family.
An overflow crowd of mourners packed St. John Lutheran Church in Libertyville on Wednesday for the 11-year-old's funeral.