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Missouri teen will be tried as adult in stabbing death of best friend’s mother

By Emanuella Grinberg
Court TV
Nov. 20, 2006

A Missouri teen accused of helping his best friend kill his mother will be tried as an adult, a juvenile court judge ruled Thursday.

Edward George, 16, was transferred from juvenile custody to the adult jail in Kansas City Thursday, after a hearing to determine whether he should be tried as an adult for the vicious attacks on the parents of his best friend, Taylor Marquez.

George, who will turn 17 next month, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal intent for the stabbing death of Pamela Marquez in her bedroom on July 15.

A probable cause report states that George told an arresting officer that he stabbed his friend’s mother “five or six times until she stopped breathing.”

He is also charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal intent for an attack on his friend’s adopted father, Joseph Marquez, in the same incident.

The victims’ son, Taylor Marquez, 16, is still in juvenile custody, awaiting a similar hearing on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal intent for his alleged involvement in the attacks.

Jackson County Judge Ann Mesle’s decision to send George to adult court affects his potential sentence if convicted. He now faces life in prison, as opposed to time in a juvenile facility until he turns 21.

Although Missouri has the death penalty, he will still receive the benefit of his age. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year to prohibit capital punishment for offenders under age 18.

Though George’s hearing on Tuesday provided the first public account of the investigation’s details, the motive for the attacks is still unclear.

The elder Marquez, a U.S. state attorney, testified at the hearing that he was sitting on the couch watching television when George grabbed him from behind and sliced his chin and throat with a knife.

He told police that he managed to wrestle the knife from George and ordered him out of the house, after which point the two teens fled the Grain Valley home. Marquez told police that he found his wife lying in a pool of blood in the upstairs bedroom, a broken knife blade next to her body. She died in the hospital from multiple stab wounds to her chest.

Investigators found five knives scattered throughout the home, including the one that Joseph Marquez seized from George.

The teens fled the area in Joseph Marquez’s car, but not before Marquez allegedly sent an e-mail to his girlfriend.

“I will always love you … remember that I love you sooo much if I get back to you I tell you why I said this,” Marquez wrote in an e- mail, according to a probable cause report.

The teens were arrested three days later in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Investigators testified Tuesday that they found blood in their car. At the hearing, George’s lawyer, John Picer no, attacked the sufficiency of the evidence against his client as it related to the death of Pamela Marquez.

“The most important information that we don’t have yet is the evidence regarding the wounds on the murder victim,” Picerno told CourtTVnews.com. “We need to know which knife was used.”

He also cited George’s lack of a prior record, save for a shoplifting arrest, in his argument that the juvenile system was better suited to serve his needs.

A preliminary hearing for George is scheduled for Dec. 6.