Juvenile sent to facility for stabbing store clerk

IRON MOUNTAIN — A 15-year-old male will be sent to a high-security juvenile facility for an indeterminate amount of time after stabbing an Iron Mountain convenience store clerk Feb. 22.

The teen was sentenced Wednesday in Dickinson County Probate Court after Judge Thomas Slagle decided he would be not be convicted as an adult.

The 15-year-old pleaded no contest in April to one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony.

He initially had been charged with assault with intent to commit murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison. In exchange for his plea, Assistant Prosecutor Alex Sieminski agreed to reduce the charge.

Sieminski asked the teen receive a blended sentence, which would have given the court the ability to revoke probation and try the teen as an adult if he violated the terms of his sentence.

Sieminski said a psychological report indicated the teen showed “limited remorse” for his actions, which could have amounted to a prison sentence were he an adult.

Defense attorney Dan Jaspen said though the situation was severe, the store clerk’s injuries were relatively minor and the youth had no previous offenses.

Sieminski and Jaspen agreed the teen needed treatment for mental health issues.

Speaking at the sentencing, the 22-year-old store clerk said the months since the attack had been difficult, but she wanted the teen to have the opportunity to become a good man rather than suffer.

The teen apologized to the woman and to the community, saying he had learned much during his time at the Sioux Tribe Youth Facility, a juvenile detention center in St. Ignace.

“A life locked up is not a life I want to live,” the boy said.

“You’ve got some serious work to do,” Slagle told the teen. Slagle noted the juvenile could not explain why he had committed the crime other than to say he was angry and “blacked out” after an argument with his father.

According to the criminal complaint, the teen just after 9 p.m. Feb. 22 asked the clerk at the Krist Oil station, 1017 S. Stephenson Ave., for help getting some items from a cooler. When she bent over, he stabbed her three times in the back with a large kitchen knife he’d apparently brought to the store, authorities said.

The teen fled on foot but was found a short time later inside the McDonald’s restaurant on U.S. 2, just south of the convenience store.

The juvenile was returned to the Sioux Tribe detention center, where he will stay until arrangements can be made with a high-security facility.

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