Skippack teen Tristan Stahley, accused of stabbing Spring-Ford High School Senior Julianne Siller to death in May on a local walking trail, wants his trial moved to juvenile court.
Stahley, 17, a former Perkiomen Valley High School student, was charged as an adult with first- and third- degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime after allegedly confessing to Siller's murder.
According to Stahley’s lawyer, Timothy J. Barton, Stahley plans to establish at a decertification hearing that the transfer to juvenile court will “serve the public interest,” according to the Times Herald.
A judge, as opposed to a jury, will make a decision in juvenile court, and the court will focus on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment.
There is no “guilty” verdict in juvenile court; there is only “adjudicated delinquent,” and punishments can include placement in a rehabilitation or detention facility, or house arrest.
In September, Stahley pleaded not guilty the charges against him, after police say he stabbed Siller multiple times in the throat with an orange-handled EMT knife and dragged her body into a wooded area off of the Skippack trail on May 25.
After the alleged stabbing, police say that Stahley returned home and threatened to kill himself after confessing his crime to his mother; a struggle ensued while Stahley’s father tried to stop his son from killing himself, and the Pennsylvania State Police responded the domestic incident.
Stahley then confessed to the murder, police say, and took the troopers to Siller’s body.
Stahley has been held in prison without bail since Siller’s death.