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Gazette Premium Content Colorado Springs teen accused of assault in connection to fatal stabbing is released to mother

By Lance Benzel Updated: October 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

One of two boys arrested after their mother's boyfriend was stabbed to death in Colorado Springs last week will be released from juvenile detention pending trial and may resume attending high school, a magistrate ruled Monday.

The boy, who was released to his mother's custody, had been held at Spring Creek Youth Services Center in Colorado Springs since Oct. 14, when he and his 17-year-old brother were arrested after the slaying of Norzell Badger Jr. in an apparent family dispute.

The older boy, Avery James Jackson, was charged as an adult Friday with first-degree murder and is being held without bond at the Spring Creek facility.

The younger boy was charged as a juvenile Monday with second-degree assault, felony, and sentence enhancer. Authorities haven't described what they believe happened, and arrest records are under seal, court clerks said Monday.

According to arguments at a brief court hearing, Badger, 34, was stabbed seven times - twice in the head - and both boys and their mother fled afterward, leaving the wounded man alone with his two children from a previous relationship.

Police were called to the family's home in the 100 block of North Chelton Road about 2 a.m., and the teenage suspects were arrested that evening, police said. During Monday's proceedings, the mother identified the victim as a boyfriend.

El Paso County Magistrate Jeffrey Saufley ordered the younger boy's release after his attorneys argued at a brief hearing that he could be effectively supervised by his mother. Saufley ruled that he must wear an ankle monitor and be supervised by an adult at all times. If he violates those terms, he could be returned to pre-trial detention, the magistrate warned.

During the hearing, prosecutor Amy Fitch disclosed details of the dead man's injuries, and one of the boy's defense attorneys, Ann Kaufman, said the conflict unfolded as the woman was "being screamed at to leave with the two boys."

Fitch fought the boy's release to his mother, saying the woman helped at least one son flee and initially did not cooperate with police. Fitch said she would not have objected to releasing the boy to his father, who travelled from Michigan for Monday's hearing.

Fitch alleged the boys' mother encouraged her younger son to "be deceptive" to police in his earliest statements about the crime.

Asked by Saufley if the woman had been charged, Fitch responded: "Not yet."

Saufley suggested the woman could have been in "shock" after the stabbing and ordered her not to discuss the case with her son. He cautioned there would be a "zero tolerance" policy for violations of the terms of the boy's release.

A middle school principal, a middle school coach and a high school social studies teacher testified Monday that the boy has posed no disciplinary problems at school. He is in an accelerated academic program and active in sports, they said.

The boy is expected to return to court Dec. 2 for a pre-trial conference. Jackson is scheduled for a Dec. 4 court appearance.

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