Prosecutor: Girl should stay in adult jail after mom's death

AP News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2015 4:52 PM

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — An eighth-grader accused of conspiring with her soldier boyfriend by text message to have her mother killed should remain in an adult jail while awaiting trial, a prosecutor said.

Defense attorney John Waldron had filed a petition to have 14-year-old Jamie Silvonek returned to the juvenile facility where she was sent the day after the body of 54-year-old Cheryl Silvonek was discovered last month.

Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said Friday he will oppose the petition and Waldron's request to move the case to juvenile court, The Morning Call reported (http://bit.ly/1FxDeky).

The teenager is charged as an adult with homicide and criminal conspiracy. Her boyfriend, 20-year-old Caleb Barnes, who is from El Paso, Texas, but was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, is charged with homicide.

Cheryl Silvonek's body was found stabbed in a shallow grave about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Jamie Silvonek was sent to the county jail this month after she was charged as an adult and is in the women's housing unit, away from older inmates, county officials said.

Authorities said Barnes and the teenager met in October, when she was 13, but she told him she was 17. The teen's mother found out about their relationship in early March and ordered them to end it. A day later, the teen told Barnes in a text message, "I want her gone," police said.

Waldron, however, has said that because of the age difference he believes the teen must have been under "some type of duress or coercion." He said his client "cried incessantly and told me how much she missed her mom" and she feared for her life and that of her father.

Barnes' public defender hasn't returned a phone message seeking comment.

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Information from: The Morning Call, http://www.mcall.com