LEWISTON, Idaho — A 14-year-old Idaho girl has pleaded guilty to attempted murder after prosecutors said she and a friend both tried to kill her friend’s stepfather.
Chloe Marks, of Lewiston, entered the guilty plea on Tuesday, The Lewiston Tribune reported. She faces up to 25 years in juvenile detention and prison when she is sentenced on Feb. 23.
Marks and Triston Arnzen were both 14 and middle school students when the shooting occurred in February, and both have been charged as adults. Arnzen, now 15, of Lewiston, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting injuries of his stepfather and his 11-year-old stepsister.
In court documents, prosecutors accuse Arnzen and Marks of plotting the shooting after Arnzen’s stepfather, George Hamblin Jr., told the pair they couldn’t go to the park. Prosecutors said the teens took a handgun the family kept on top of a refrigerator, and that Marks used it to shoot Hamblin before handing it to Arnzen. Prosecutors said Arnzen then shot his stepfather again before turning the weapon on his stepsister, chasing her and shooting her twice in the leg.
During a preliminary hearing in June, Lewiston Police detectives Brett Dammon and Cody Bloomsburg said Marks told them that she agreed to the shooting because, “YOLO,” an acronym for “you only live once.” Bloomsburg also testified that Arnzen told him the pair took some time to “build up courage” before the shooting and that he stopped shooting at his stepsister because he thought the gun was empty.
During that hearing, defense attorneys noted that Arnzen did not have any parent present during the police interviews, and that Marks’ parents first agreed to let her be interviewed before she was considered a suspect in the case.
On Tuesday, Marks’ defense attorney Rick Cuddihy said the plea agreement was reached after mediation, and that the agreement says Marks can serve time in juvenile detention until she is 21. After that, she may be released by a judge or sent to adult prison.
“The benefit to my client is that her stay in juvenile detention might be her only stay in jail,” Cuddihy said.
Arnzen’s defense attorney, Greg Rauch, could not be immediately reached for comment.