Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Anchorage Service High School Student Nicholas Chamberlain Breaks Up With Girl, Stabs Girl 29 Times, Life Now Ruined; Bystander Kenneth Schulz A Hero

Update April 19th, 2013: Nicholas Chamberlain was sentenced to a total of 42 years in prison. Judge Michael Wolverton handed down a 60-year sentence with 20 years suspended on the murder charge, as well as a two-year sentence on the assault charge.

Update September 7th, 2012: Nicholas Chamberlain pleads guilty to attempted first-degree murder and third=degree assault; other charges dropped. See updated post HERE.

This is a case of puppy love going to the dogs. A sixteen-year-old student at Anchorage's Service High School has seriously injured a young girl and has now wrecked his own life simply because he couldn't handle her rejection of him.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that 16-year-old Service High School junior Nicholas Chamberlain (pictured above) has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence after stabbing a 17-year-old senior female student, now identified as Lori Miebs, almost to death on Monday December 7th, 2009. He is currently at McLaughlin Youth Center, but he will be tried as an adult, which explains the release of his name and photo.

Other media stories and sources:

-- "Student stable after Service High stabbing", Anchorage Daily News
-- Anchorage Daily News Photo Gallery HERE (NEW)
-- "Girl in stable condition after stabbing at Service High", KTUU Channel 2 with two news videos
-- "Accused Service stabber to be charged as adult for attempted murder, KTUU Channel 2
-- "Service High 17-year-old in critical condition after stabbing", KTVA Channel 11
-- "Service H.S. students react to stabbing", KTVA Channel 11
-- "Stabbing at Service High", Alaska Dispatch
-- Alaska Court System entry on Chamberlain HERE (updated link).
-- Discussion thread on Free Republic HERE
-- Charging documents were available HERE, but link is now dead.

Police confirm that Lori Miebs was the suspect's ex-girlfriend. The stabbing occurred around 11:50 A.M. outside the school near the soccer field during lunch break at Service. According to a witness, Kenneth Schulz, a skier who intervened in the assault and pushed the attacker off of Miebs, he saw what appeared to be a male punching a female. One other student had tried to intervene, but the attacker chased him off. When Schulz got closer, he saw the suspect had a folding knife and was repeatedly stabbing the girl. Schulz kicked at the attacker, who stopped stabbing the girl and threatened the skier with the knife, after which he fled but was apprehended about an hour later around 9430 Birch Road, in a neighborhood near the school. The hour-long manhunt involved dogs, at least two dozen APD officers with assault rifles and an Alaska State Trooper helicopter spotting the neighborhood from the air.

The victim was stabbed 29 times with a folding pocketknife, police said, and suffered severe wounds to her leg, back and stomach. She underwent surgery for a collapsed lung. The charging document discloses more specific locations of the wounds:

-- Left middle knuckle
-- Left forearm
-- Left wrist
-- Right shin
-- 8-10 wounds in the upper left arm and left shoulder
-- Under the left eye
-- On the left side of her neck under her ear
-- Palm of her right hand
-- Right forearm
-- Right upper arm
-- Right bicep
-- Four wounds near her collarbone on the right side
-- Two wounds to the right side of her cheek
-- Eight on her upper back
-- Two to the back of her neck

She underwent surgery Monday and was listed in stable condition Monday night. It is believed that had Schulz not intervened, Chamberlain would have stabbed the girl to death. Chamberlain sustained an injury to his hand during the stabbing.

After the stabbing and during the manhunt, Service High took precautions to protect students and staff. The school was put into stay-put mode, which requires outside doors be locked but allows instruction to continue. That was then upgraded to lockdown, in which students are confined to their classrooms, the lights are cut off and instruction stops. Parents were informed about the situation in a recorded message sent out about 2 P.M. But students were not told about the events that caused the lockdown in the classroom announcements. The school was locked down for about an hour and 15 minutes while police searched for the assailant, although students were allowed to leave campus at the usual time of about 2 P.M. The adjacent Trailside Elementary School was also in lockdown right after the stabbing.

One student who knew the suspect and the victim said she was very surprised, "Me and him we are in first period together and we are pretty close friends and I just didn't think one of my friends could do something like that to someone they used to love," said sophomore Silver Prudy.

Chamberlain's grandmother, Margaret Abraham, also weighed in. She said Chamberlain was upset because he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him. "His friends were saying that she had another boyfriend and my grandson couldn't believe that and he just would not get it through his head that was right... But then he found them together and got upset about it," Abraham said.

Chamberlain's mother, Shelee Chamberlain, gave a statement over the phone, saying "This is a tragic event that has shocked and saddened our family. We feel a deep remorse that this has occurred. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family and pray that she'll recover and live a long and full life. Nothing justifies what happened."

Court documents indicate Chamberlain has had problems at home. Chamberlain's mother filed for divorce in September against his stepfather, Vernon Keezer, whose whereabouts are currently unknown to the family. In the petition for divorce, Shelee Chamberlain says she has not tried to contact him because of "domestic violence and irreconcilable differences."

The severity of the wounds already inflicted upon the girl at the time Kenneth Schultz intervened strongly implies that he might have prevented a stabbing from becoming a murder. Very little information about Chamberlain has been released so far, but what little is available does not indicate that Chamberlain was anyone particularly unusual, certainly not another Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris. He is said to have enjoyed rock music. Service Principal Lou Pondolfino would not discuss the students' histories, including whether they had disciplinary problems in the past.

Unfortunately, he has now wrecked his life. The possibility that he was bent on actually killing this girl will have to be considered during the judicial process. If convicted on all charges, he will need to be put away for a long time - at least 10 years. No "house arrests" or any other wrist slaps for this guy.