A 15-year-old girl was handed a possible nine-year prison sentence for fatally stabbing a 16-year-old Mount Vernon cheerleader following a school celebration.
The teenager, who was not publicly identified because of her age, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter last month in the death of Kayla Green, a sophomore at Mount Vernon High School.
The teen suspect was sentenced to a term of three to nine years in jail on Tuesday, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office announced.
The teen stabbed Kayla Green during a large brawl after a parade in Mount Vernon to mark the state championship won by the high school boys’ basketball team.
The stabbing happened in Westchester last April and stemmed from a cheerleading rivalry.
Green was the captain of her school’s junior varsity cheerleading squad while the defendant was part of an independent cheer club that Green was a past member of.
It’s not clear what precipitated the brawl. Green and the defendant had been members of the Supreme All Stars, an independent cheer squad, and Green later became a Mount Vernon High School cheerleader, LoHud, which covers the Lower Hudson Valley, reported.
Soon after the celebration to recognize the basketball team’s 12th state title, a huge fight was caught on cell phone footage.
The victim was knifed in the stomach and tragically pronounced dead after she was taken to the hospital, prosecutors said.
Judge Susan Cacace sentenced the defendant in court Tuesday, January 24.
Cacace said the motive for the stabbing was, ‘A long-standing rivalry between two cheerleading squads in the city of Mount Vernon,’ according to CBS 2.
The defendant apologized in court before her sentence was determined.
She said: ‘I am sorry my actions took away a big sister. I am sorry my actions took away a daughter.’
She admitted she made ‘bad choices’ that led to heartache for Green’s loved ones.
Green’s relatives believe the defendant’s sentence and apology were insufficient. They argued the defendant would be out of prison in a short time.
‘Her killer gets to get out in three years to live her life, to have family, to have a career. My daughter will never see that,’ the victim’s mother Laverne Gordon said.
District Attorney Mimi Rocah said the fatal stabbing ‘left a community devastated.’
‘A teenage defendant senselessly took the life of Kayla Green, and in doing so, left a community devastated,’ Rocah said in a statement.
The maximum sentence the teenager could have received was 3 to 10 years as a juvenile offender in New York, the district attorney’s office noted.
She will serve her time in a juvenile detention center until she’s 18 when she will then be taken into custody by the state’s Department of Corrections, the district attorney’s office said.