“It’s Kind of Shocking”: Two Missouri Teenagers Stab Woman At Car Wash And Then Take Joy Ride With Dead Victim In Her Car

vacuum14n-1-webIn Missouri, there is a deeply unsettling crime involving two boys, aged 13 and 14, where Tanya Chamberlain, 43, was brutally stabbed in the face, neck, chest and hands. After killing her, the two teens went on a joyride with her dead body propped up in the front seat. The case again raises the question of when minors should be be tried as adults in our country.

Chamberlain was vacuuming out her car when the boys attacked. A surveillance video shows the eighth-graders exiting Quick Clean Car Wash wearing distinct hoodies. However, due to the time change on November 1st, the culprits got a break. The change to daylight saving time resulted in the video re-booting and by that time the car was gone. However, the police insist that they caught the teenagers in the victim’s car and found her body propped up in the front seat with her feet on the dashboard. Police spotted the car swerving and thought it was a drunk driver. The boys then fled the car and the police lost them. They recovered the bloody pocket knife.

The boys showed up for school the day in the eighth grade after Chamberlain’s death and a fellow classmate’s mother recognized the sweatshirts, which they wore at both the murder and the next day to school. Another mother told police that they had come by her house wearing the same sweatshirts.

In perhaps the world’s most understated response, Scott Thomason (presumably a neighbor) was quoted as saying, “I thought it was very unfortunate. It’s kind of shocking how two eighth-graders could do something like that.” Unfortunate and “kind of shocking” does not quite capture the response of most people to two teenagers randomly stabbing a woman to death and then taking her dead body on a joy ride in her car.

Not only do the police have the clothing and presumably of forensic evidence, but they say that the teens made incriminating statements during police interviews that only someone involved in the crime would know, according to reports.

Here is the heart of the standard in the Missouri code, which these teenagers appear to satisfy:

Certification of juvenile for trial as adult–procedure–mandatory hearing, certain offenses–misrepresentation of age, effect.

211.071. 1. If a petition alleges that a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen has committed an offense which would be considered a felony if committed by an adult, the court may, upon its own motion or upon motion by the juvenile officer, the child or the child’s custodian, order a hearing and may, in its discretion, dismiss the petition and such child may be transferred to the court of general jurisdiction and prosecuted under the general law; except that if a petition alleges that any child has committed an offense which would be considered first degree murder under section 565.020, second degree murder under section 565.021, first degree assault under section 565.050, forcible rape under section 566.030 as it existed prior to August 28, 2013, rape in the first degree under section 566.030, forcible sodomy under section 566.060 as it existed prior to August 28, 2013, sodomy in the first degree under section 566.060, first degree robbery under section 569.020, or distribution of drugs under section 195.211, or has committed two or more prior unrelated offenses which would be felonies if committed by an adult, the court shall order a hearing, and may in its discretion, dismiss the petition and transfer the child to a court of general jurisdiction for prosecution under the general law.

What do you think? Should they be tried as adults?

57 thoughts on ““It’s Kind of Shocking”: Two Missouri Teenagers Stab Woman At Car Wash And Then Take Joy Ride With Dead Victim In Her Car”

  1. Quite right to assure everyone that I am perfectly harmless, Nick. Why I didn’t even mention the hilarity of our local ‘historian’ having difficulty in remembering just what the hell the Marshall Plan was.

  2. Darren – thank you for going fishing. It spares me from having to find that law abiding, psychopathic neuroscientist article again.

  3. Olly

    I’m pretty certain you know my position. Here’s a starting point: it’s not yours.

    But I confess I am confused by your contempt because I have offered my opinion of your opinion.

    Oddly, I was under the impression that that’s precisely what most comments do. You’ll spoil everyone’s fun if Olly’s Principles also include no opinion of other opinions are permitted.

  4. Karen, Bob is an old timer just trying to disrupt. He offers nothing, just nags others. As I said on another thread, it has been so nice the last 16 days, mosquitoes like Bob just don’t seem so bad.

  5. Bruce – plus, there is also the tensions between Mexicans and South Americans.

    My issue is that the rhetoric of the “rich white man” does not accurately convey the realities of racism in the US.

  6. I just realized these cases are being handled by the Jackson County Juvenile Court which is where I worked back in the 70’s. This court has a secure detention facility on premises, or at least they did when I worked there.

    Both of these juveniles will be evaluated separately. There were murder, armed robbery and rape cases w/ 2 or more defendants that went through certification when I worked @ this Court. I can think of 2 off the top of my head where one defendant was certified and the other kept in our Court. One was an armed robbery where the victim was shot and killed. The trigger man was certified, his accomplice was not. The trigger man had an extensive record, the accomplice, who was not armed, had a couple nonviolent priors.

  7. Bob:

    Why the offense and pushback against the observation that anyone can be racist, including African Americans?

  8. So Bobmetz, your inability to answer JT’s question is noted. Your weak-kneed “accede to the law” is a cop-out as the question is asking for your opinion; instead, you can only offer opinions of other people’s opinions. Absolutely worthless and spineless.

    Nicely done!

  9. they should be kept at home with ankle bracelets and parental supervision.
    But Jackson County Family Court Commissioner William R. Jackson III declined the requests, ordering that the two be held in a “secure detention facility.”

    OF course they should be in a secure facility instead of at home with their parents. If the parents had exercised their duties as parents in the first place these teen boys would not have been wandering around at 1 AM and would not have been in a position to commit THIS crime.

    The parents lack of supervision in the past doesn’t bode well for their ability to keep an eye on their kids now or in the future. They can’t be trusted. Any of them.

  10. Yes, Bruce. Proof positive it is Obama’s fault. And would have been his son’s fault, if he had one. Maybe we can pretend he has a son and just add him as another of the usual suspects. Would anyone notice?

  11. There was just a race war between the black students and the latino students at Hawthorne high school in California. And a few years back there was a gang war between the blacks and latinos on the west side of Los Angeles

  12. I offer no compassion. I accede to the law. I do however write of my horror at both the racism and advocacy of cruel and inhuman punishment engendered by this post.

    Cruel and inhuman. Sound familiar, Olly?

  13. Just for my edification and general clarification, were these Missourians or hyphenated African-Missourians?

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