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Student Charged in Stabbing of Teacher

Times Staff Writer

A ninth-grader accused of stabbing his English teacher when she disciplined him at a Sylmar junior high school was charged Wednesday with assault with a deadly weapon on a school employee, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office reported.

The 15-year-old Pacoima youth, who was not identified, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Sylmar Juvenile Court on the charge, which has an added allegation of causing great bodily harm, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Michelle R. Rosenblatt.

The suspect is accused of stabbing Cynthia Edwards, 37, in front of a classroom full of students at Olive Vista Junior High School on Monday. Edwards, of Palmdale, suffered a three-inch-deep wound in her back. She is recovering at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

Edwards was writing a disciplinary report on the ninth-grader for using profanity in class when she was attacked. The boy was taken into custody by school administrators a few moments after the stabbing.

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Los Angeles police arrested the youth, who has a history of minor disciplinary problems at school, on suspicion of attempted murder. Citing juvenile privacy laws, Rosenblatt said she could not disclose details about the case that led to the filing of a lesser charge.

Rosenblatt said the youth will face an adjudication hearing before a Juvenile Court judge. If convicted of the charge, he could face punishment ranging from probation, where he would be allowed to live at home, to incarceration in a California Youth Authority prison. He is being held at Sylmar Juvenile Hall.

The adjudication hearing is similar to a criminal court trial except that a judge instead of a jury decides the defendant’s guilt or innocence, Rosenblatt said.


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