Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Unthinkable: Children Who Kill

Jasmine's Trial

Jasmine's attorney, Tim Foster, accepted the idea that Jasmine might have engaged in discussions about killing her parents, but said she did not mean that she would literally do it. The scenario he painted was that Steinke had gotten high on cocaine, watched the violent movie, and undertook to rescue Jasmine, as "Mickey" had done for "Mallory. " The idea was his alone, as was the act. Thus, Jasmine, too, was a victim.

She took the stand in her own defense and affirmed that her boyfriend was the killer. She cried when asked about choking and stabbing her brother and said that Steinke had made her do it, as her brother begged for his life. She had a knife in her hand, she said, for self-defense, but Steinke had taken it and slit her brother's throat.

While the prosecutor conceded that Jasmine did not engage in the act of murder, she had persuaded and encouraged Steinke to do it, telling him which window would be unlocked for entering the home on Saturday night. She also willingly fled with him. Thus, she was eligible for a murder conviction. He urged the jury to remember her part.

On July 9, 2007, after the jury deliberated just over four hours, Jasmine was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder. She began to weep, according to the Edmonton Sun. Under Canadian law, she cannot receive an adult sentence, so she faced a maximum of six years in prison and four of probation. Steinke faces trial for murder next year; he has not yet entered a plea.

Jasmine Richardson is the youngest person to be convicted of multiple murder in Canadian history. For that matter, she's the youngest in North American history.

 

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