Crime - Sacto 911

Teen accused in his sister’s death appears in court

Ashley Wood, left in both photos, was found dead in her home July 19, 2016. She is shown at Technique Gymnastics in Rancho Cordova, where she trained in gymnastics.
Ashley Wood, left in both photos, was found dead in her home July 19, 2016. She is shown at Technique Gymnastics in Rancho Cordova, where she trained in gymnastics. Courtesy of Amanda Bowers

The teen suspected of killing of his younger sister in 2016 will learn in April whether he will be tried as an adult in the case.

The shackled teenager, identified in court as T.W., drowsily shuffled into a third-floor courtroom of Sacramento County Courthouse on Friday led by Placer County Probation officers and a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy.

He was to face a transfer hearing to determine whether a juvenile or adult court will hear murder charges in the July 2016 killing of his younger sister, 13-year-old Ashley Wood, at their Rocklin home.

Ashley Wood’s body was found July 19, 2016, in her bedroom by her mother. Police would later say the girl’s death was caused by blunt-force trauma. The boy, then 14 years old, was spotted in a field about a mile from the family’s home, police said.

The teenager is not being identified because of his age, but the alleged crime involving the son and daughter of a then-Placer County District Attorney’s homicide prosecutor stunned the office and forced the state Attorney General’s Office to take on the case in Sacramento Superior Court, after Placer officials declared a conflict of interest.

Deputy Attorney General David Lowe said he was ready to proceed Friday, but juvenile defense attorney Kevin Adamson told Sacramento Superior Court Judge James Arguedas that the doctor who evaluated the teen’s mental fitness needs more time to compile his findings and present them to the court.

Adamson cited the “uniqueness of this particular case” in asking for the delay, saying the physician, who has twice examined the youth, wants a third visit before completing his report.

State Attorney General’s prosecutors offered mild objection before Arguedas set a new April 13 hearing on the doctor’s report.

A 14-year-old boy is in custody following the death of a 13-year-old girl at their Rocklin home.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

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