Punishment for girl in school threat uncertain - East Valley Tribune: News

Punishment for girl in school threat uncertain

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Posted: Sunday, June 8, 2003 8:08 am | Updated: 1:07 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A 15-year-old Gilbert girl will not likely see any immediate time in juvenile corrections as punishment for disrupting Gilbert High School with a note about a Columbine-type massacre, her attorney said

"Given the judge’s comments, I don’t see that happening," deputy public defender David Smith said.

Instead, Judge Andrew Klein of Maricopa County Superior Court seems to be leaning toward placing Krystal Miller into a residential treatment center so she can get mental-health care.

She faces a sentencing range of probation to incarceration until age 18.

Klein said Thursday, after finding Miller delinquent for the counts of threatening or intimidating and interference with the operation of the school, he didn’t want her warehoused in detention and he would move up her June 30 sentencing date if caseworkers can expedite getting her placed.

Where she goes exactly is still to be determined.

But according to Cynthia Goertz, in charge of the county’s Juven ile Probation Department’s program services, residential treatment centers run the gamut from group homes in residential areas to fully locked-down medical buildings.

Where a juvenile ends up depends on the person’s needs, Goertz said. "Our staff will match two or three programs that will meet her needs," she said.

After that it will be up to the program to accept her and her case will be reviewed every 60 days, Goertz said.

Before sentencing, the judge will consider input from caseworkers, probation officers, Miller, her attorney, her parents and the prosecutor before making a decision. "I don’t know what we’ll advocate," Smith said.

What is certain is Miller’s mother, Lisa Dorman, can’t take her because she has allegedly abused her over the years and is wanted by the law.

Miller’s father and stepmother said they can’t provide the 24-hour monitoring and mental health care she needs.

Miller was arrested March 11 after a note describing threats of shooting fellow students fell into the hands of school officials.

Klein said he didn’t believe she had the ability to carry out the threat, but he’s worried about her mental health and the effect her relationship with her mother has had on her.

"The safest place for you is a residential treatment center," Klein said. "I think you have some issues."

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