Latest News 2010 August Phoebe Prince: Criminal Defense Stands?

Phoebe Prince: Criminal Defense Stands?

The young Irish immigrant, Phoebe Prince, that allegedly committed suicide earlier this year due to bullying at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, had previous instances of self-mutilation and at least one prior suicide attempt per the Boston Herald. 

Attorney Emily Bazelon sites two of the accused teens' defense lawyers for gaining investigative reports that depicts Prince as unstable for trying to kill herself with prescription medication in November 2009.

This evidence, albeit furthering the pain of the grieving family, adds - both negatively and positively - to the case for the accused.

These inner conflicts for Prince, of a history of self-injury and a suicide attempt, the report goes on to say, make it an "uncomfortable fact" that Phoebe's actions created the issue between her and other students.  A weakness that was identified and schoolmates took advantage of .

Now the criminal case against six teenagers, by Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel, may be questionable. The issue, of a pre-existing condition as it were, changes the outlook.  Did their taunting of Prince put her over the edge or, was she already too far over the edge to be retrieved?

Now it's up to the attorneys to prove that Prince's earlier injuries caused her to either succumb due to threats or, to succumb due to an ongoing suicidal state of mind.

Bullying expert Barbara Coloroso said, "It is all too common to retarget the target so as to minimize or justify the cruelty heaped on her." Coloroso was recruited to train the school's officials prior to Prince's death. 

Coloroso proved to be ineffectual for Prince as her cyberbullying had escalated to "cybermobbing," a term used by the author Meline Kevorkian in "101 Facts About Bullying." Cybermobbing explains how a mob can work together to guarantee hourly bullying tactics.

But it took three months of verbal, and "electronic" attacks to wear down Prince. Prosecutor's investigative reports show that during this time there was abuse from text messages, Facebook messages and personal attempts to corner and taunt Prince with screams and name-calling.

The final blow, and final day of Prince's life, was after Ashley Longe threw a large empty drink can at her from a moving vehicle.  The metal object hurtling at Prince wasn't enough for Longe, she was also compelled to couple her physical threat with a verbal one, calling Prince a whore and a slut.

One friend of Prince's did speak out to explain why she was bullied: "Because she was pretty and people were jealous."

School officials took no action when Prince wanted to just "go home" but instead was left to fend for herself from Ashley Longe, Sharon Chanon Velaquez, Flannery Mullins, Sean Mulveyhill, Austin Renaud and Kayla Narey, her fellow students ranging in age from 16 to 18. Prince was 15. 

All have pleaded not guilty, but one can surmise all are guilty - of not thinking that Prince wouldn't be around anymore to taunt.

If you are facing criminal charges or have questions about criminal defense, contact a criminal defense lawyer near you.