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Outrage as family of Kaylee Gain attacker launches petition calling on authorities not to charge her as an adult

The petition, set up by the suspect’s aunt, was slammed as ‘insane’

Martha McHardy
Friday 22 March 2024 17:12 GMT
Missouri teen in shocking high school beatdown pictured, 'fighting hard to stay alive' after attack: family friend

The family of the Missouri girl who has been charged with viciously beating 16-year-old Kaylee Gain into unconsciousness has been slammed after setting up a petition calling on authorities not to charge her as an adult.

The Change.org petition, set up by the alleged attacker’s aunt, describes the 15-year-old suspect as an “honor roll” student who was “harassed and bullied” at school.

“Prior to an incident on March 8th where she was seen defending herself from harassment and bullying, she had never been in trouble,” the petition reads.

It adds that the 15-year-old, who has not been named by authorities, is “multilingual, speaking four languages including Spanish and Korean, plays the violin in the school orchestra, played on her school’s volleyball team and was recently selected for college-level AP classes due to her academic excellence.

“Her work as a scholar was tainted by the bullying she had to endure at school,” it continues.

The 15-year-old was arrested after disturbing footage circulated online of a girl beating up 16-year-old Kaylee Gain close to Hazelwood East High School in Spanish Lake, St Louis last week.

Kaylee Gain, 16, who was filmed being beaten into unconsciousness (Supplied)

In the video, Ms Gain is seen being pushed to the ground before her head was repeatedly smacked on concrete until she stopped moving.

Ms Gain is now ‘’fighting for her life’’ in hospital with ‘’major brain bleeding and swelling,’’ and is yet to regain consciousness.

Earlier this week, Missouri’s 44th attorney general, Andrew Bailey, called the attack “evil” and called for the suspect to be tried as an adult.

But her family are urging authorities to show “compassion” for the teen and are pleading with Chief Juvenile Officer Rick Gaines of the 21st Circuit Court not to charge her as an adult.

“This single event is being used to define her character and incite racial divisions and political strife with the MO AG calling on the courts to charge her as an adult,” her family alleged.

“It is unjust that such an accomplished young woman should be charged as an adult for assault without considering all the facts of the case that led to the incident where harm occurred.”

She “deserves amnesty and a chance at forgiveness”, her aunt added in an interview with the Daily Mail.

John O’Sullivan, director of communications with St Louis County Courts, told KSDK it is too soon to determine if the suspect will be tried as an adult.

As of Friday morning, more than 600 supporters have signed the online petition.

A viral video showed the moment a fight near a school in St Louis left a teenage girl with critical injuries (The Post Millennial/X)

However, the petition has also fuelled outrage, with one X user describing it as “insane”, while others argued that she should be charged as an adult.

“If she is such an accomplished academic at school, then she absolutely knew what she was doing when she slammed Kaylee Gains head against the pavement 3 times she should be charged as an adult,” one person wrote.

A spokesperson for Change.org told The Independent the website is “an open platform with a wide range of views, including perspectives with which some may strongly disagree.

“We only take action against petitions that do not follow our Community Guidelines,” they added.

The family had previously started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the girl’s legal bills, but it was swiftly removed by the platform for violating its terms of service, after raising close to $3,000.

The funds have since been returned to the donors.

A fundraiser has also been set up for Kaylee Gain, with more than $300,000 raised for the 16-year-old’s medical bills.

“Every donation, big or small, will go directly towards easing these stressful days, allowing Kaylee’s family to be able to be there 100% for her day and night and help with the medical bills that they foresee,” a statement posted to the page reads.

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