Girl, 14, charged in stab­bing death

The Republican Herald - - OBITUARIES/ STATE/ COURT -

AS­SO­CI­ATED press WILKES- BARRE — A 14- year- old girl has been charged with sec­ond- de­gree mur­der in the stab­bing death of a for­mer boyfriend of her mother.

Au­thor­i­ties say the teenager is also charged with bur­glary, ar­son, theft and con­spir­acy in the Septem­ber death of Fred Boote Jr. in Wilkes- Barre. Rey­naldo Mer­cado, 31, is charged with crim­i­nal homi­cide, rob­bery, bur­glary, ar­son, crim­i­nal con­spir­acy, theft, abuse of a corpse, tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence and in­ter­fer­ing with the cus­tody of a child.

Luzerne County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Ste­fanie Sala­van­tis, in an­nounc­ing the new charges against the girl and ad­di­tional charges against Mer­cado, vowed jus­tice for the vic­tim, who she said “was bru­tally and sense­lessly mur­dered in his own home.”

Pros­e­cu­tors said the girl’s mother had dated Boote, 58, and they lived in his home ear­lier this year un­til he asked them to move out at the end of July. The fam­ily then moved in with Mer­cado, but af­ter he lost his job, pros­e­cu­tors al­lege that he and the girl planned to rob Boote.

Au­thor­i­ties al­lege that the girl told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that she didn’t be­lieve Boote would be in­jured, so she went to his home early Sept. 14 and left the door un­locked so Mer­cado could get in. Af­ter Mer­cado at­tacked the vic­tim, they al­lege, the girl ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife “to scare Mer­cado to stop beat­ing Boote,” but he grabbed the knife and re­peat­edly stabbed the vic­tim.

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