Saturday, June 22, 2024

Black Teen Charged in Viral School Fight to Remain in Juvenile Court After Victim’s Bullying History Emerges | PicsVideo

Kaylee Gain and Maurnice DeClue - via GoFundMe
Kaylee Gain and Maurnice DeClue – via GoFundMe

*In a dramatic turn of events on Wednesday, a St. Louis judge ruled that Maurnice DeClue, the 15-year-old charged with brutally beating fellow student Kaylee Gain, will be tried in the juvenile court system. The ruling comes after compelling testimony from a juvenile officer suggesting a broader context to the altercation that left Gain, 16, in a coma.

The case gained national attention when footage of the March 8 confrontation between Declue and Gain went viral. The clip showed DeClue repeatedly slamming Gain’s head into the pavement outside their school, resulting in severe brain injuries. Gain remained in a coma for months and only began walking again two months later. The incident led to DeClue being charged with first-degree assault and placed in juvenile detention, while authorities debated if she should be tried as an adult.

Earlier this month, a juvenile officer testified that Kaylee Gain was a serial bully who had repeatedly tormented Declue. According to the officer, Gain had been suspended just the day before for another fight, highlighting a troubling pattern of behavior. The officer also revealed that Gain had initiated the fight with Declue by throwing the first punch, reports

On May 10, in response to the testimony and additional evidence, the judge decided that DeClue would remain within the juvenile justice system. This decision aligns with the officer’s recommendation and accounts for the nuanced backstory that contradicts the initial viral narrative.

The defense team highlighted DeClue’s exemplary school records, noting she was an honor student who had skipped the seventh grade due to her academic excellence. Teachers and school staff, including Spanish teacher Richard Bly, praised Declue as a “model student” who had never shown behavioral issues before the fight. Bly testified that Declue was one of the youngest in his class, further illustrating her exceptional academic performance.

Kaylee Gain - Maurnice DeClue (GoFundMe-Facebook)
Kaylee Gain – Maurnice DeClue (GoFundMe-Facebook)
Maurnice DeClue - Teen Charged in Viral School Fight to Remain in Juvenile Court - via X
Maurnice DeClue getting the best of Kaylee Gain – via X

Adding to the narrative, Kaylee’s father, Clinton Gain, provided text messages indicating that both girls had agreed to meet for a fight to settle ongoing disputes. Clinton admitted to periods of familial instability and dysfunction, revealing that both he and Kaylee’s mother, April Nordstrom, struggled with addiction during Kaylee Gain’s childhood. He acknowledged that Kaylee endured significant hardships, particularly after her parents’ separation left her and her brother in their mother’s care while she was still deep in addiction.

“She was just a normal kid,” Clinton Gain recalled, mentioning the efforts made to provide Kaylee with stability and structure, despite the turbulent family background. Nevertheless, he conceded that these early years of instability likely contributed to her behavior.

Following the judge’s ruling, the decision has sparked widespread debate about the intersection of bullying, mental health, and the juvenile justice system. While some argue that DeClue’s actions were inexcusable, others believe that the broader context of bullying and Declue’s otherwise clean record justify the juvenile court’s rehabilitative approach.

This ruling ensures that Maurnice DeClue will be provided with the support and services available in the juvenile system, rather than facing the more punitive adult criminal justice system. The court’s decision underscores the importance of examining all facets of such incidents, recognizing that initial viral impressions may not always present the full story.

As both families and the community grapple with the aftermath, this case highlights the complexities involved in teen violence and bullying, pushing for a more comprehensive understanding of juvenile justice.

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