12-year-old among the youngest in Jackson Co. to face murder charge

Ashland, Ore. — The 12-year-old accused of fatally stabbing his mother and injuring his sister, made his first court appearance Wednesday morning, and only NBC5 News was there.

The boy sat emotionless before the juvenile court, only nodding his head when asked questions.

The 12-year-old entered denials to charges of murder, attempted murder, and assault. That is the equivalent of a not-guilty plea in juvenile court.

Meanwhile, the district attorney’s office says there hasn’t been a case like this, in decades.

“It’s a tragedy all around,” Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert says.

Heckert was among the first on scene Tuesday morning. She says in her more than 2 decades with the county, she’s never had a case like it.

“I couldn’t recall a case where we had a youth that was that young,” Heckert says, “that committed these types of crimes in Jackson County.”

The 12-year-old boy is currently being charged as a juvenile, facing counts of murder, attempted murder, and assault.

Ashland police say he killed his 52-year-old mother Pamela Wolosz, and injured his 16-year-old sister, stabbing them both multiple times with a kitchen knife.

“It’s gonna be a rough patch for the community to work through this is really especially tragic,” Ashland Chief of Police, Tighe O’Meara says.

Heckert says despite the boy’s age,  he could be charged as an adult.

“We would have to file a motion with the court and have a hearing on that and be able to show the judge that this youth was of sufficient sophistication that he should be treated as an adult.”

But she says it’s too early in their investigation to know how they’ll proceed right now.

“At 12 you know it’s truly going to be difficult- and we understand that- and so we just want to make sure we do all the background information and really get a complete investigation done before we actually make a decision.”

The boy is being held at the juvenile detention facility in Medford. His next court date is January 25th.

If he is adjudicated on the charges– or in other words is found guilty as a juvenile– he could be placed in a correctional facility until he turns 25. If charged and found guilty as an adult he faces a minimum of 25 years on the murder charge alone.

 

Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News at 6 with NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University. She comes to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. When Kristin is not sharing the news she’s hunting down the best burrito, hiking a local trail or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder! If you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you how a California girl became a Cheesehead.

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