By Kayla Carter
Friday was the only day 15-year-old Nicholas Willen could have his father involved in a case charging him with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.
“You will be treated as an adult for all purposes in this court,” Carter County Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street told him. “Today I’m bringing your father up because I think the assets of your family are relevant as to the appointment of counsel. After this day, your father won’t be able to come back up here with you.”
Willen was accused of fatally stabbing 16-year-old Happy Valley High School student Elijah McKinney and injuring another juvenile at 212 Cash Hollow Road on Dec. 16, 2012.
Willen’s case was transferred earlier this month from Juvenile Court to Criminal Court.
According to information previously requested from Juvenile Court, Willen and another juvenile fled the scene of the stabbing.
They were later found by Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes and Lt. Mike Little at an apartment on Milligan Highway, where Little recovered the knife police said was used in the stabbing, according to Juvenile Court records.
The decision to have Willen face the murder charges as an adult came after Carter County Juvenile Court Judge John Walton heard more than three hours of testimony on Aug. 16, according to a press release from District Attorney General Tony Clark’s office.
Street arraigned and appointed the public defender’s office to represent Willen during his first Criminal Court appearance.