Youth status denied

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 25, 2003

A Wilcox County teen-ager charged with murder in the death of a fellow student will be tried as an adult.

Toni Rena Kimbrough, 16, of Lower Peach Tree, is scheduled to stand trial for the death of Ashley Carter, 17, on Dec. 8. Carter died after Kimbrough allegedly stabbed her in a Feb. 13 incident at Wilcox County Central High School.

According to Greene, youthful offender status would have allowed Kimbrough to have a judge hear the case instead of a jury, her maximum sentence would only have been three years and her record would have been sealed.

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Instead, Kimbrough will stand trial as an adult.

According to Greene, defense attorney Daniel Hamm of Montgomery asked Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Tommy Jones for the youthful offender status based on Kimbrough’s age and a good character reference.

Greene said he asked the status be denied since it’s limited to cases where the victim can receive compensation &045;&045; an impossibility in this case. Greene also dismissed the good character reference. He said police reports indicate Kimbrough came to school armed with two knives and showed them to classmates saying, &uot;I hope she says something to me cause I have something for (her).&uot;

Kimbrough said in a statement that Carter approached her and pulled a knife. Kimbrough says she &uot;felt a lick in my face, and I started swinging my fist. Before I knew it, I was stabbing her. Throughout the incident, I had my eyes closed, not realizing what I was doing. And before I knew it, a teacher came and pulled us apart and I was arrested.&uot;

According to Greene, Kimbrough and Carter had a strained relationship at school. The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. as children were entering school buses to return home.