13-year-old charged with assault, arson after stabbing a woman, two children

A Lawrence County teen is accused of stabbing step-mother and two children
A Lawrence County teen is accused of stabbing step-mother and two children
Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 11:17 PM CST
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SPEAKE, Ala. (WAFF) - A 13-year-old Lawrence County teen is in a Juvenile Detention Center after deputies say she stabbed multiple family members, including an 18-month-old.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on County Road 203 in the Speake community on Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office was informed that three people had been cut or stabbed with a knife by a 13-year-old female.

Once deputies arrived to the scene, they found an 18-month-old, 8-year-old, and a 53-year-old woman all with stab wounds.

Authorities confirmed the 53-year-old woman is the adoptive mother of 13-year-old girl. The baby and child who were stabbed were the woman’s grandchildren.

Deputies tell WAFF the two children were transported to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. The woman was transported to Huntsville Hospital.

According to deputies, the13-year-old girl was detained at the scene and an emergency hearing was held to place the suspect in a juvenile facility.

Through further investigation, authorities were able to determine that fires were also set throughout the home the same night.

Investigators have charged the 13-year-old with three first-degree assault and arson.

The family says this is something they never thought they would see.

“She’s autistic, she’s mentally challenged and something just snapped. I don’t know,” Thomas Rutherford, the children’s grandfather said.

Thomas Rutherford says his ex-wife was stabbed by her daughter.

“She had just come in from school and everything and put her book bag down and my ex-wife was standing on the front porch. The 13-year-old come out and started jabbing her in the legs. She’s got stiches in her arms, her knees, and the sides of her leg,” he explained.

Next, Rutherford says she turned to her mother’s 18-month-old grandson and 8-year-old granddaughter.

“She went back in to get another knife and I reckon that’s when she got a hold of the 18-month-old. They had to do surgery on him and they made an incision from his navel to his chest plate, the bottom of his chest plate,” he said.

Rutherford says she has never shown any signs of violence.

“She’s always been real gentle and sweet and everything. My ex-wife is like blaming herself. You didn’t know. Nobody knows. You cant tell what a person’s got going on in their mind,” Rutherford said.

Lawrence County Sheriff Max Sanders says investigators found signs a fire was trying to be started inside the home.

“She was trying to start a fire in the dresser. If the investigator had been gone, the house probably would have caught on fire,” Sheriff Sanders said.

Rutherford says he hopes the teen will be placed in a mental health treatment center, instead of a detention facility.

And Sanders says more resources are needed for the community as a whole.

“I think that shows again we got to have more mental health facilities over all. Not just for the younger people, but a lot of the people we’ve got back in jail here probably need mental health counseling,” Sanders said.

Rutherford tells us his 18-month-old grandson is talking and alert after his surgery.

And his granddaughter is expected to be released Wednesday.

This is a developing story, stick WAFF for updates both online and on-air.

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