Judge: Girl, 14, ‘active’ participant’ in mother’s murder

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A judge says a 14-year-old eastern Pennsylvania girl’s “intelligence and manipulation” were crucial to the plot to have her soldier boyfriend kill her mother, which the judge called a “vicious and monstrous crime.”

Lehigh County Judge Maria Dantos issued a 37-page decision explaining why she ruled Thursday that Jamie Silvonek should be tried as an adult in the murder of 54-year-old Cheryl Silvonek.

Authorities said the victim was beaten, choked and stabbed in her SUV in March after returning from a concert with her daughter and 21-year-old Army Spc. Caleb Barnes.

Dantos said the teenager’s role “demonstrated criminal sophistication” and her “intelligence and manipulation were essential to achieving the desired goal – murder.”

Authorities have cited text messages in which they allege that Silvonek urged Barnes to kill her mother.

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