CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — In a brief hearing Thursday, Chippewa County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Lane confirmed the choice of attorney for the 14-year-old Chippewa Falls boy suspected of raping and killing a girl he knew, 10-year-old Iliana "Lily" Peters.
Criminal defense attorney Michael Cohen of Eau Claire, Wis., told Lane that he had read the complaint against his client, identified in court using only initials, but was still waiting for District Attorney Wade Newell to provide more information about the state's case.
The boy, seated next to Cohen and wearing a dark T-shirt and blue paper face mask, appeared via video from the Eau Claire juvenile detention facility where he's being held on $1 million cash bail. He didn't speak.
Lane scheduled the next hearing for June 24. He also ordered that a redacted version of the complaint be released. Search warrants that were served on the boy's house will remain sealed for now, Lane ruled.
Peters was reported missing by her father on April 24 when she didn't return home after visiting her aunt's house nearby. Searchers first found her bicycle in the woods near a walking path and stream that leads from a Chippewa Falls neighborhood to the Leinenkugel Brewery. Her body was found the next morning.
The boy was arrested April 26. According to the prosecutor, the boy told authorities that he planned the attack. He described punching Peters, hitting her with a stick and strangling her before he sexually assaulted her, police said. An autopsy found that she died of strangulation and blunt force trauma.