US prosecutors are planning to call on up to 50 witnesses in the case against three teenage girls accused of the relentless bullying of Phoebe Prince which led to her taking her own life.
Last January Phoebe Prince hanged herself in her bedroom in South Hadley in Massachusetts. The 15 year old teenager had recently moved to the US with her family from Co. Clare.
Yesterday three of the six teenagers charged earlier this year with bullying Miss Prince appeared at a juvenile court in Massachusetts.
Ashley Longe, Sharon Chanon Velazquez and Flannery Mullins were all 16 when they were charged as youthful offenders with violation of civil rights resulting in bodily harm. Ms Velazquez and Ms Mullins are also charged with stalking
The teens have all been charged as youthful offenders therefore their identities have not been protected. The girls’ attorneys indicated yesterday that they will attempt to have the indictments thrown out of court because of insufficient evidence. All three teenagers have pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors the three girls were angry over Ms Prince’s relationship with Austin Renaud, the once boyfriend of Miss Mullins. According to court records Ms Mullins is accused of shouting offensive comments such as “Irish slut” and “stupid slut” at Ms Prince just a few hours before her suicide. She is also accused of threatening to beat up Ms Prince and posting offensive comments about her on Facebook.
Mr Renaud and another teenager Sean Mulveyhill are facing statutory rape charges for allegedly having sexual conduct with Miss Prince. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Their cases are not expected to go to trial until January of 2011.