TEXAS – A Texas teenager was convicted of stabbing her 14-year-old best friend to death last last year after an argument over sleeping arrangements.
Nylah Lightfoot died at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth on May 29 after her friend, who has not been named publicly because she’s a minor, stabbed her in the neck and chest during a fight.
The young girl, who was 13 at the time, testified in court she and Nylah met at school and became like sisters, but that they also fought like siblings, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
During their last fight, the girl testified, she said that she was going home for the night after a pool party because there were too many girls at Nylah’s apartment for their sleepover and not enough room in the bed. The two fought over text about a slamming door, and then about returning clothes they had borrowed from each other.
The accused girl claimed that Nylah then showed up at her apartment around 2:30 a.m. and they fought again. At that point, she testified, she went inside and got a kitchen knife to threaten Nylah.
“I stabbed her and I made the worst mistake of my life,” the girl said, according to the Star-Telegram. “I wish I had been thinking clearly at the time. I pulled it out instantly and tried to stop her from running.”
The girl said she tried to stop the bleeding with a blanket and towels until her mother came outside and saw them.
She claimed that she considered hurting herself after Nylah died, but that her mother convinced her not to.
After turning herself in to police, the girl also told officers where she left the knife she had used to kill Nylah.
But prosecutors argued that the girl had issues with anger, despite her claims that the stabbing was accidental.
“There is no arguing what her intent was,” Tarrant County prosecutor Jim Hudson said, according to the Star-Telegram. “When she came outside with the knife, she was still in control. But not even her friend could stop her.
She was only following through with what she had threatened twice.”
The girl, who faced up to 40 years behind bars, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday. She will serve at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility until her 19th birthday.
“You spent her last birthday with us,” Nylah’s mother, Anntoinette Carter, said in court after the sentencing. “I don’t know how I come back from this.”
The girl’s stepfather claimed that the trial was unfair because of the predominantly white jury and contrasted it to Ethan Couch, the white teen who was sentenced to probation after he killed four people in 2013 while driving drunk.