16-year-old to be tried as adult for stabbing
GONZALES - A judge ruled that an Ascension Parish teen accused of killing another teen with a steak knife will be tried for murder as an adult.
Sheriff's deputies said the teen, identified today as 16-year-old Jacob Westbrook, stabbed 18-year-old Todd Toups to death while Toups was visiting a girl he was going to take to the homecoming dance Saturday evening. He will face charges of second-degree murder, and is being held without bond.
Westbrook's mother collapsed in court after the judge's ruling, saying through tears that "it's not fair."
On Tuesday Sheriff Jeff Wiley called the teen a "killer" and said authorities were working to have him transferred from juvenile detention to the parish prison.
"We have so many disconnected kids now in this area, in this parish, in America... in the world. They glorify rebellion, glorify hate. They exhibit behavior that is inconsistent with any normal context," the sheriff said.
Wiley said Toups stopped to check on the girl he was taking to the dance Saturday afternoon. While he was there, Wiley said Toups was attacked by Westbrook, who is the boyfriend of the girl's step-sister. The sheriff said the altercation may have started with comments by the step-sister who said if Toups hurt the girl he was taking to the dance, she would stab him.
Wiley said Toups may have joked about the comment while at the trailer Saturday, and was approached by Westbrook who made stabbing gestures at Toups with a knife from the kitchen. Toups, trying to defend himself according to the sheriff, pushed or knocked down Westbrook and was stabbed in the process. He later died at a hospital.
"He wanted to be a history teacher, because history was his passion and because he wanted to work with young teens who may have problems, family issues," Toups' mother, Suzette, said in an interview with WBRZ Monday.
Westbrook was booked into the adult jail Wednesday evening.