Mental Defense Won’t Be Used in Stabbing Trial

A case involving the stabbing death of a 13-year-old Saline County girl continues to progress towards a trial.

A Saline County teen accused of stabbing her sister to death was back in court Monday afternoon. 15-year-old Sierra Niehaus appeared with her attorney Julie Effenbeck. Judge Patrick Thompson discussed several issues with the upcoming trial with both Effenbeck, and Saline County Attorney Ellen Mitchell.

A questionnaire is being prepared, and will be sent to potential jurors a couple of weeks before the trial. Mitchell said that she has some reservations about sending out a questionnaire, primarily that it might prompt someone to research the case online.

The trial is scheduled to begin in late October, and looks like it will proceed. Effenbeck indicated that she will not use a mental defect / disease defense. If she had, it would have delayed the trial so mental health experts could evaluate Sierra.

Back in April Judge Thompson had ruled that Sierra would be prosecuted as an adult.

The case stems from the death of Galazia Niehaus. The Saline County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a stabbing at about 1:45 in the morning on Friday, August 1st, 2014. When deputies arrived at the scene in Northwest Saline County they found the body of Galazia, who had been stabbed to death.

Sierra is being held in the Saline County Jail on a million dollar bond.

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