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Marathon County struggles with housing teen charged as adult

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A 15-year-old charged as an adult in the stabbing death of a 13-year-old boy in central Wisconsin is being housed at an adult facility.

It wasn’t an easy decision for Marathon County officials because of his age, according to the Daily Herald Media.

“I think everybody is very concerned about it,” said Marathon County Corporation Counsel Scott Corbett, the county’s main attorney. “Obviously, it’s not something that occurs often in Marathon County and it was something we were all paying attention to.”

The teen was ordered Thursday to stand trial in the adult court system in the death of 13-year-old Isaiah Powell on Feb. 27.

Since Powell’s death, the teen has been shuffled between the county’s juvenile detention center and the jail as officials determined where the law required him to be held.

Corbett, County Jail Administrator Sandra La Du-Ives, Sheriff Scott Parks and Chief Deputy Chad Billeb made the decision. They determined that state law requires the teen to be in the adult jail based on his age and the fact that he was charged in adult court, she said.

La Du-Ives still believes the juvenile detention center would be a better place for the teen to continue his education and interact with people his age. He is considered low risk to re-offend while incarcerated, based on the jail’s assessment, she said.

When he is in the adult facility, the law requires that he be isolated from adults and cannot be allowed to see them or even hear them, she said.

The only way he would move back to the juvenile facility is if his case were to be moved to juvenile court, she said.

Although the teen was charged as an adult, The Associated Press is withholding his name because his attorney, Jay Kronenwetter, plans to keep pushing for the case to be moved to juvenile court.

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