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New Richmond teen will see juvenile, criminal consequences

The New Richmond teenager who faced an attempted homicide charge after a violent 2016 assault on another girl must serve time at a state facility until she’s 17 years old. Then she’ll begin a path toward reintegration with the community.

Terms of an agreement — calling for juvenile and criminal-level penalties — reached between prosecutors and attorneys for Kali Bookey were outlined Wednesday in open court, where St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell dismissed the attempted homicide charge and two other felonies stemming from the incident.

Instead, Bookey, who was 14 years old at the time of the July 7, 2016, offense, will be placed in the serious juvenile offender program at the state’s secure Copper Lake School.

St. Croix County District Attorney Michael Nieskes later explained that incarceration at the facility is limited to three years.

The agreement allows for Bookey to be turned over to adult supervision once she turns 17, courtesy of an agreement both sides said was the result of extensive negotiations and compromise.

The agreement works out like this:

Bookey will be charged with two felonies in criminal court after she turns 17. Nieskes said prosecution will call for her to be placed on probation for eight years, effectively keeping her under Department of Corrections supervision until she’s 25.

The two felonies would be eligible for expungement if Bookey abides by terms of the agreement.

Public defense attorney Alex Andrea said he’s exceedingly confident Bookey won’t run afoul of the law again.

“She’s never going to reoffend,” he said after the hearing.

Of about 350 exams issued by one risk assessor, Andrea said Bookey came up with the lowest test results ever for reoffending.

“She won’t need the adult probation,” he added.

Nieskes acknowledged the thorny process toward the agreement.

“It’s a difficult situation,” he said. “You have two young people whose lives have been inevitably changed.”

A criminal complaint stated Bookey attacked her brother’s girlfriend after riding a bike more than 10 miles to the child’s house.

There, Bookey attacked the girl as she slept, eventually using shards from a ceramic bowl to hack at the girl’s throat during the two-hour episode.

Prosecutors said Bookey gave the girl the option to “die right now” or “bleed out” and left the scene by telling the victim to “have a nice afterlife.”

Bookey’s defense team argued early on that the attack was an attempt to scare the victim — not an attempt to kill her, as prosecutors charged.

Experts who testified at a hearing in February to determine if Bookey’s case should be moved to juvenile court said the act was an aberration for a girl who they said was far from the psychopath she purported to be during the attack. If anything, her tendency is to care — and obsess — too much, Dr. Michael Caldwell testified at the hearing.

“Her actions” that day, the psychologist said, “were very uncharacteristic.”

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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