A 16-year-old Ohio girl who allegedly took part in a deadly attack on her friend’s family in May has been formally charged with murder in adult court.
On Monday, a grand jury in Clark County Common Pleas Court indicted Natasha Ellis, 16, of New Carlisle on charges of murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of Lee Moore, 36, of New Carlisle, multiple outlets — including local station WHIO — report.
Ellis was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder and felonious assault for allegedly injuring two others in the attack, including the 13-year-old friend’s father, Paul Greear, 56, and his 17-year-old son, the Dayton Daily News reports.
Ellis is expected to be arraigned later this week. She has not yet entered a plea.
The 13-year-old friend’s identity is being withheld because she is a minor and she is being tried as a “youthful serious offender,” WDTN reports.
Under Ohio law, the 13-year-old cannot be charged as an adult, Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll said, the Springfield News-Sun reports. However, the 13-year-old faces the same charges as Ellis.
The crime came to light on May 23 around 3 a.m., when Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call, after a hangup from the same number, saying someone had broken into a New Carlisle home and was assaulting the caller’s parents, WDTN reports.
Upon arrival, deputies found Moore suffering from stab wounds, WDTN reports.
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She was rushed to a local hospital where she later died.
Prosecutors and deputies say the teens planned the alleged attack after the 13-year-old’s parents forbade her from spending time with Ellis, WDTN reports.
“They had been plotting for a while to do this,” Deputy Deborah Burchett said, WDTN reports.
Despite being told to stay away from each other, the two friends continued to meet at a local library, say authorities, the Springfield News-Sun reports.
The two allegedly came up with a plan for Ellis to sneak into the house in the middle of the night with the help of the 13-year-old and kill the teen’s mother, father and his son, deputies said, the Springfield News-Sun reports.
In the early hours of May 23, Ellis, then 15, allegedly broke into the family’s home and began attacking them with a knife, the Springfield News-Sun reports.
Greear and his son subdued the 15-year-old until police arrived, the Springfield News-Sun reports.
One of the first to arrive at the family’s home on the night of the alleged attack, Penewit told the court, “We could hear the screaming coming from inside the house,” said Deputy Amanda Penewit said in court in July, WHIO reports.
Ellis allegedly told Penewit and a detective that they attacked the family because the 13-year-old was being abused “and this was the only solution,” WHIO reports.
Ellis has been held in a juvenile facility since her arrest in May.
In May, the teens were arraigned in Clark County Juvenile Court. The teens entered denials – pleas of not guilty – to all charges.
Since then, prosecutors have worked to move Ellis’s case to adult court.
Ellis’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.