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Teen charged with attempted murder to appear for preliminary hearing June 21

(County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A 17-year-old boy accused of stabbing his mother will appear for a preliminary hearing next week on an attempted first-degree murder charge, Campbell County court records say. 

Tharles O. Smith, 17, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, with prosecutors alleging he stabbed his sleeping mother in the back with a 13-inch kitchen knife on Ridge Way Road around 11:45 p.m. June 10, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. 

Smith’s mother, a 41-year-old woman, reportedly called for aid moments after the assault and told responding deputies that she had been stabbed in the back by her 17-year-old son while she was sleeping. She was found lying in her bed with the knife protruding from her back, and she was life-flighted for emergency medical treatment, the affidavit states. 

After being taken to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office for an interview, Smith told an investigator that he and his family recently argued about him having to leave their home for not following the rules, court documents say. 

Smith told the investigator the argument made him angry, so angry that he couldn’t sleep and he felt his parents were trying to get rid of him, per the affidavit. After everyone went to bed that night, the 17-year-old went to the kitchen and retrieved a knife. He then entered his mother’s darkened bedroom where she was sleeping.

“Then, without saying a word, [Smith] advised he jumped onto his mother and forcefully stabbed the knife into her back one time,” the affidavit states. “[Smith] described holding the knife with the blade facing downward and away from his hand.”

Per the affidavit, the 41-year-old woman thought Smith had hit her and asked him why he had done so. The 17-year-old told her he stabbed her and there was a knife in her back. He attempted to leave because he “did not want to see his mother die” but she convinced him to stay with her until emergency help arrived, per the affidavit. 

The knife blade penetrated through and fractured the 41-year-old woman’s left shoulder blade and damaged her lung. A physician estimated the blade penetrated two-thirds of the way into her chest cavity and told deputies the woman was lucky to have survived given the location and manner of the stabbing, according to the affidavit. 

A preliminary hearing has been set for June 21, during which a Circuit Court judge will determine if there is sufficient probable cause to send Smith’s case to District Court for further proceedings, per court documents. 

Attempted first-degree murder is punishable by up to life imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, according to Wyoming State Statute. 


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