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'I'm going to kill you'

Twelve-year-old phones in threats to foster mom

Jennifer McPhee
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 09/03) - A 12-year-old girl was convicted of three counts of threatening to kill her foster mother.

The victim, manager of a group home in Yellowknife, testified in territorial court this week she received a phone call on May 31 while the accused was absent from the group home. She recognized the girls voice. The woman testified the caller addressed her by name and said: I'm going to kill you and then Im going to eat you.

I stayed up the rest of the night, said the woman. I was quite shaken up.

The next day, she received another call from someone who told her to lock her doors and seal her windows because she was going to die tonight.

She did not recognize the callers voice. The person on the phone sounded hysterical, she said. She asked who the caller was and the person responded: Thats for me to know and you to find out. You will die tonight.

Again, the woman stayed up all night because she feared for her safety, and for the safety of the children at the group home.

The girl returned home on June 2 and denied making the calls, suggesting it was her friend, said the woman.

Then, when questioned further, she threatened to kill her again, testified the woman.

I told her I was having her charged because I thought she needed help.

The 12-year-old girl took the stand and admitted making the calls, but said it was a joke that she didnt expect to be taken seriously.

She testified she was encouraged by her friend to make the calls, and implied the victim mischaracterized her third threat.

But she admitted she didnt like her foster mother because she wanted to live with her dad.

The girls friend, who was with her when she made the calls, also testified.

Defence lawyer James Brydon compared the calls to calling up someone and asking if their refrigerator is running.

He argued the girl makes outrageous statements, but doesnt intend to follow through.

Judge Brian Bruser rejected this argument and said whether the girl intended to carry out the threats is irrelevant.

He said the calls obviously were not intended to amuse the victim. They were not intended to tickle her funny bone.

The girls sentencing for the threats and other charges she has pleaded guilty to is tentatively scheduled for this morning.

She has pleaded guilty to joy-riding, arson, possession of property obtained by a crime, failing to comply with a court order, mischief not exceeding $5000, and theft.

She pleaded not guilty to assault and another charge of failing to comply with a court order.

Bruser will review a pre-sentencing report about the girl before her sentencing.