February 9, 1995 in City

`Obsessed’ Girl Sentenced On Harassment Charges Now Teen Could Be Tried As Adult For Attempted Murder Of Coach

Associated Press
 

A teenager held for investigation of attempted murder after her arrest in the home of a former volleyball coach was sentenced Wednesday to 40 days detention for a previous harassment campaign.

Michelle Walker, 15, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty last month to harassment and malicious mischief charges stemming from her apparent obsession with her former coach, Bridgeport Elementary School second-grade teacher Lori Armstrong, said Douglas County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Biggar.

After the sentencing, the Douglas County Juvenile Court held a detention hearing and ordered Walker held without bail on the attempted murder allegation until another hearing next Wednesday.

The court will set a date for a hearing to determine whether she should be tried as an adult on that charge, he said.

“If her birthday was two weeks earlier, she would have automatically been remanded to adult court,” Biggar said.

Under state law, 16- and 17-year-olds charged with Class A felonies like murder and attempted murder are automatically tried as adults. Walker turns 16 on Feb. 18.

Walker quit Bridgeport High School’s junior varsity volleyball team soon after the season began last fall and began writing letters about her feelings for Armstrong, an assistant coach, Sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Halterman said. The girl gave some of the letters to a friend, who turned them over to school officials, he said.

“They were letters of anger, letters that stated, `If I can’t have you, nobody can,”’ Halterman said. “It was an obsession, there’s no question in my mind it was an obsession.”

Halterman was off duty Sunday evening when Armstrong came to her house and asked for help. She had returned home after being away for the weekend to discover that the glass on her front storm door was broken and the door unlocked.

Halterman searched her one-bedroom house and found the girl crouched in a closet, clutching a 12-inch knife.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus