CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (NewsNation) — The teenager accused of brutally murdering 10-year-old Lily Peters in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin faces an uncertain path forward in the legal system because of his age, as questions surrounding how he will be tried remain.
Wisconsin law calls for minors 10 and older to be tried as adults when charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Whether or not he will be tried as an adult depends on a couple factors, attorney Rachel Fiset told NewsNation on Wednesday.
Those factors include “whether it is good for the community if he can be rehabilitated, how as a juvenile it benefits really the community and him and the rest of his life,” Fiset said.
Fiset said it could take up to a year for this to go to trial.
Peters’ body was found 9:15 a.m. in a wooded area near a walking trail in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. She had previously been reported missing by her father, after she did not return home from a visit at her aunt’s house. Law enforcement discovered her bicycle in the woods, which was how they were able to recover Peters.
An eighth grader police say Peters knew was arrested in connection with the killing.
Prosecutors said the teen knocked Peters down and struck her with a stick before sexually assaulting and strangling her. After appearing in adult court last week, the boy was charged with intentional homicide, sexual assault and sexual assault of a child younger than 13. He was given a $1 million bond.
District Attorney Wade Newell also said the teen made statements his intention “was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go.”
Chippewa Falls police called the killing a very rare occurrence for the town.
“The people of our community are honest, hardworking and kind-hearted. It is almost impossible to believe that something this horrific could happen in our city,” the police chief said.