Teen accused of killing 10-year-old Thornton girl appears in court


Kiaya Campbell

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ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- A teenager accused of viciously killing a 10-year-old girl in Thornton appeared in juvenile court Monday.

The 15-year-old boy allegedly killed Kiaya Campbell on Wednesday night. The judge closed the hearing to everyone but the suspect’s and the victim’s families.

The suspect's parents were in attendance for the hearing. His mother kept her sunglasses on.

His father was wearing a crucifix on a chain around his neck. He waved it in front the news media and said "Jesus" before entering court.

He later read from a Bible while waiting for his very boyish-looking son to appear for the detention hearing.

Police say the 10-year-old girl left her father’s Thornton home Wednesday night with the suspect, her father’s girlfriend’s 15-year-old son. She never came home.

Her body was found in a ravine behind a home at 12943 Jasmine Court the next day. Police arrested the teenager late Saturday night.

The Adams County district attorney must decide if he will ask the court to transfer the case from juvenile to adult court.

“Is the juvenile court system going to bring justice to that individual or is the adult court system going to bring justice?” 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young said.

“It’s tough to answer. With each individual, we look at the offender, the crime, and what the community expectations are and what justice will be and other factors. It’s a process we’re in the middle of doing right now."

Young said there is no time frame on deciding whether he will ask for a transfer. He said the main considerations are the age of the suspect and the type of crime committed.

Since it's a murder case, the teen is not eligible for bond. He’ll remain in the Adams County Juvenile Detention Facility.

The teen will be back in court June 21 to be formally charged with first-degree murder.

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