Lawyers for a 14-year-old Mundelein girl charged with killing her 11-year-old sister said during a brief juvenile court hearing this morning that efforts continue to find an expert to perform a psychological evaluation.
The girl's lawyers and prosecutors discussed the sharing of evidence and agreed on a next court date of March 14.
Asked how his client was faring in custody, attorney Michael Goode said she was fine and added, "As fine as could be expected."
The girl, dressed in dark blue jail clothes, sat next to her mother Dawn Knauf-Betancourt during a hearing that lasted a few minutes. The girl offered a tentative smile to attorney Michael Conway as she sat down and spent the hearing looking straight ahead. The victim’s father, David Betancourt, was also in the courtroom.
Knauf-Betancourt and Betancourt both walked straight from the court building to their vehicles without commenting.
The girl has been in custody since Jan. 21. Early that morning, authorities said, she attacked her sister Dora Betancourt in bed, stabbing and slashing her dozens of times with a kitchen knife. The slaying, which happened while their mother was at work, came after arguments over household chores that left the older sister feeling unappreciated, prosecutors said.
The girl called her mother and police and invented a story about an intruder murdering her sister, prosecutors said, but she changed her story after investigators at the police station told her they’d found strands of her hair in the victim’s hand, suggesting a struggle.
She is charged as a juvenile, though Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim said this morning he is continuing to weigh whether to request that she be charged as an adult. If she’s found guilty in juvenile court, she could be sent to a juvenile facility until she turns 21. If convicted in adult court, she’d face 20 to 60 years in prison.
The Tribune is not identifying the girl because she is charged as a juvenile.