CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston police detectives have signed a juvenile petition charging an 8-year-old boy with malicious wounding after he allegedly stabbed his younger sister Sunday afternoon.
Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said the petition was signed Monday afternoon but the prosecution of the boy remains in question.
“Due to his age, criminal prosecution may just not be an option,” Cooper said.
The boy allegedly used a knife to stab the 4-year-old girl in the neck in their Hunt Ave. home after she found him stabbing one of her dolls.
Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants said state law prohibits a juvenile younger than 10 from being housed in a juvenile detention facility. He said he knows of no other case of this kind in the state’s history.
Plants said some decisions have to be made.
“When allegations are placed against a child of this age–where do you place the, that one, is going to keep the public safe, and two, is going to provide the services needed for that child,” the prosecutor said.
Lt. Cooper said the young girl is expected to make a full recovery from the stab wounds she suffered. He said the resolution of the case would likely be different than other criminal cases involving juveniles.
“We just have to sort through the strangeness of this situation and see what happens in the juvenile justice system,” Cooper said.
The Charleston Police Dept. is working with the state office of Child Protective Services. Prosecutor Plants said a preliminary investigation of the home showed no signs of neglect.
“There’s also no evidence that this could have been avoided by the parents,” Plants added.