FLORENCE — A teenager accused of killing a girl at a party in March will stand trial as an adult, based on action taken Thursday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court.
Circuit Judge Mike Jones denied a request Thursday morning for Autumn Marie Wood’s trial to be held in juvenile court.
Wood, 17, of Lauderdale 6, Florence, is charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of Brooklyn Ann Hollins, 14, of Cole Street in Florence, during a party March 24.
Authorities said Hollins was stabbed once in the chest and pronounced dead inside a Winona Street residence, where the party was held.
Alabama law allows a teenager who is age 16 or older to be tried as an adult if charged with a Class A felony. Murder is a Class A felony.
If convicted, Wood faces a possible punishment of 10 years to life in prison.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Wood has a right to file for youthful offender status. He added the judge’s decision was not surprising considering the circumstances.
“We’re pleased with the decision given the nature of the crime,” Connolly said.
Authorities said the stabbing was the result of a fight at a party the two girls were attending.
Police said there were no adults at the party.
Based on testimony at Wood’s preliminary hearing in June, 18 people — all younger than 21 — attended the party. Testimony at the hearing revealed alcohol was prevalent at the party.
Florence police detective Jerry Pearson said the homeowner was not at home when the incident happened and was unaware that his daughter was holding a party.
Reports indicate two fights reportedly broke out at the residence during the party, and Pearson said the stabbing occurred during the second one, which happened about 3:55 a.m.
Police said the fight reportedly involved one of Wood’s friends and a friend of Hollins. Witnesses’ statements indicate Wood got involved and then Hollins came to the aid of her friend.
Pearson said Hollins and Wood began fighting on the floor of the kitchen, where the stabbing took place.
Reports indicate someone reported seeing Wood with a knife and Hollins was bleeding.
Wood is out of jail on $50,000 bond.
Connolly said Wood’s trial could be held in late summer.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.