Prosecutors have asked to try as an adult a 16-year-old Springfield boy who they alleged beat and stabbed his younger brother to death.
Nicholas Starling, 16, is charged with delinquency murder and tampering with evidence in the death of 14-year-old Harley Starling.
On Monday morning police were called to the boys’ Superior Avenue home after their grandmother found Harley dead in his bed. Hours later police charged Nicholas in connection with the death.
The Clark County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday morning filed a notice of intent to move Nicholas Starling’s charges to an adult court, Assistant Prosecutor Dan Driscoll said.
Harley was beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed with a knife, according to the juvenile court records.
Prosecutors argue two reasons for the move to adult court in their filing. First, they said Nicholas meets the requirements that he was 16 when the crime occurred.
Second, prosecutors write there is probable cause that Nicholas used a baseball bat and a knife in the crime then hid the alleged murder weapons.
It will be up to a juvenile court judge whether or not to bind the charges over to adult court.
Nicholas is scheduled to be back in a juvenile courtroom Nov. 8, according to court records, and a public defender will be appointed to represent him.
In his first court appearance Tuesday, Nicholas was silent as a magistrate read the charges he faces.
Springfield police released the 9-1-1 call made early Monday morning by the boys’ grandmother, Johna Pulliam. The phone call lasted more than seven minutes.
Pulliam told dispatchers she thought the boy had committed suicide sometime overnight.
The grandmother said the boy had blood on his body and that he was playing with fake blood Sunday night, Halloween eve.
“I know he was playing with that fake blood last night and I don’t know if he drank it or what, or was he playing with it and put it on his body?” she said.
The call also records an interaction with Pulliam and Nicholas Starling, who was standing in his deceased brother’s bedroom.
“Go in the other room, don’t come in here and stare at him,” she appears to tell Nicholas Starling.
Detectives in the case haven’t released any information as to a motive for the killing, but called the case tragic.
Neighbors on the quiet street where the crime happened said they were shocked by police circling the house Monday for hours. Some residents said they saw detectives place a baseball bat found in an alley behind the home into an evidence bag.
Harley’s friends at Springfield High School continue to mourn his death.
“Every time they mention Harley, I just break down,” Savannah Marcum, 15, said.
Harley was a freshman. The Springfield school district has made grief counselors available to students and staff and held a moment of silence for the teen on Tuesday, Marcum said.
“He tried to help everybody and he tried to be friendly with everybody,” Madison Hutchinson, 16, said.
The friends plan to attend a Thursday night vigil in Snyder Park for Harley, according to a Facebook post about the event.
The group plans to meet starting at 4 p.m. to light candles and write messages on balloons for Harley, they said.
“To come together in Harley’s memory and honor him,” Marcum said.
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