Bond set $1 million for a juvenile accused of killing a 10-year-old girl at Chippewa Falls 2022-04-27 14:04:59

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Chippa Falls, Wisconsin – A local judge set a $1 million cash bail Wednesday for a 14-year-old suspect accused of killing Eliana “Lily” Peters, a 10-year-old girl who was found dead Monday morning after visiting her aunt’s home here.

In a court hearing in which the suspect appeared with his attorney via video link, Attorney General Wade Newell described the event making a statement to authorities that his intent was to rape and kill the victim “from the start” when he left with her down the driveway.

He is accused of three felonies: first-degree murder. First-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 resulting in significant bodily harm. The first two counts carry a sentence of life imprisonment, while the third sentence is up to 60 years.

Defense attorneys requested that bail be set at $100,000, but the attorney general argued for $1 million, citing the seriousness of the charges and the need to protect the community, as well as the possibility of the defendant trying to escape.

Judge Benjamin Lane agreed to the higher amount, saying “this was a serious threat to society and so the court is concerned that this could pose an additional threat if the individual is no longer in custody.”

Appearing on a large screen in the courtroom, the defendant – an eighth-grader and a lifelong Chippewa County resident who lives with his mother – sat quietly next to his attorney, head down in a dark shirt.

The lawyers and the judge did not name the suspect or reveal how he knew the victim.

A second hearing is scheduled for May 5.

Peters’ body was found in the woods at 9:15 a.m. Monday near her aunt’s home in Chippewa Falls, near a walking path at the end of Grove Street and the parking lot of a brewery in Liningoogle, police said. She was in roughly the same area where police had earlier said a bike they thought belonged to the girl had been found.

The girl lives four blocks from her aunt’s house. Her father reported to the police around 9 p.m. on Sunday that his daughter was missing.

Defending High Bond on Wednesday, Newell said in court that the juvenile made statements to law enforcement in which he described how he “punched the victim in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, essentially strangled her, and hit her with a stick before strangling her to the point of death before sexually assaulting her.”

Newell said after the hearing that the defendant and the girl left the aunt’s house together.

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