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NASA to Announce Which Company Wins Space Taxi Contract


NASA(HOUSTON) -- When the space shuttle Atlantis rolled to a stop on July 21, 2011, Commander Chris Ferguson noted the poignant end of the shuttle program: "Mission complete, Houston, after serving the world for over 30 years, the shuttle has earned its place in history, and it has come to a final stop."

Now, after an expensive and ferocious four-year competition, NASA will announce on Tuesday if Boeing, Space X or Sierra Nevada will be the one to build the spacecraft to replace the space shuttle.

The winning design will end U.S. dependence on the Russian Soyuz for transportation back and forth to the International Space Station.

At stake is an $800 million, short-term contract worth potentially $3.4 billion to launch U.S. astronauts into space by the end of 2017, the year NASA's current contract with Russia expires.

The Commercial Crew Program was designed by NASA to replace the retired space shuttle, which was the workhorse of the space program for over 30 years.

Boeing has invested in the CST 100 capsule which would launch on an Atlas V rocket -- almost a turnkey proposition for NASA when you consider the company’s history in aerospace.

Sierra Nevada isn't as well known, but it does have a good track record and its Dream Chaser space plane is eye catching. It would also launch on the Atlas V rocket and would be able to land on just about any commercial or military runway.

SpaceX has the advantage of already launching cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station and hopes to parlay that experience into a human version of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.

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Thousands Sign Online Petition to Stop 'Black Mass'


iStock/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Over 88,000 people have signed an online petition to stop a satanic black mass scheduled for later this week in Oklahoma City.

A petition started by the conservative activist website CitizenGo.org calls on the Oklahoma City Civic Center to cancel the Sunday event. The petition calls the event "offensive and blasphemous,” and "designed as a mockery of the Catholic Mass.”

"We'll continue over the next week," CitizenGo's U.S. campaigns director Gregory Mertz told ABC News.

Each signature automatically sends an e-mail to both the general manager of the Civic Center and the city's mayor, he said.

"Hopefully, they will do the right thing and cancel the black mass," he added.

Mertz says the website has protections in place to keep people from signing the petition, which launched Sept. 1, more than once.

Whatever the number of signatures, city officials have already gone on record defending the organization's right to hold the event. The Parks and Recreation Department, which rented the space to the group for $420, cited First Amendment protections in allowing the group to meet in a public facility.

Organizers of the black mass event say that as their detractors charge, they do intend to mock the rituals of the Catholic church in their services; it is these acts of mockery that make up their services and serve as an integral part of their religious practice.

Co-founder of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Adam Daniels told ABC News that the religious and educational organization decided to hold the black mass in public but it will be a “tamer” version than some traditional satanic ceremonies by, for example, substituting vinegar for acts involving urine to comply with state health laws.

"One of the dictates of the church is not only to educate the members but to educate the public,” Daniels told ABC News earlier this month, “and to debunk the Hollywood-projected image of our beliefs.”

Daniels said on Tuesday that he’s also aware of several other petitions online to stop the black mass, and that he has signed them all out of spite. He said he believes, which city officials have confirmed, that there’s no stopping the event.

“I really don’t care if 80,000 people don’t like me,” he said. “It’s a free country and they cannot like it all they want.”

The Oklahoma City Archdiocese filed a lawsuit against Daniels' group after media reports that he was in possession of a consecrated host, a wafer that some Catholics believe is literally the body of Christ.

The petition argues that “while the Constitution protects freedom of expression, it does not protect stealing property from others and desecrating it.” The host in question has since been handed over to the archdiocese and the legal action has been stopped.

Daniels said all 88 tickets to the event at the city’s Civic Center have been sold.

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Cellphone Records Could Hold Clues in UVA Student's Disappearance


iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, are pouring over cellphone records, trying to find a University of Virginia student who vanished during a night of partying with friends.

Hannah Elizabeth Graham, 18, was last heard from after 1 a.m. Saturday.

Graham’s apartment is off campus and, according to police, she and other students were drinking heavily that night; “fairly well intoxicated,” police said. Graham was seen at a pizza shop before she and a classmate headed to another party, which they left at 12:15 a.m., with Graham appearing to be walking home alone.

But Graham may have changed her mind, texting friends at another party that she was on her way, authorities said.

She never made it.

Police released surveillance images Monday showing Graham in her apartment hallway at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, hours before she went missing.

Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants said authorities are using all available means to figure out what happened, including a bloodhound, which was used to search a heavily wooded area.

“We are checking her cellphone records, computer, bank accounts, everything we can possibly do,” he said.

University president Theresa A. Sullivan is calling on the campus’ 21,000 students for help. “We are hopeful someone will come forward soon with information,” she said.

Graham’s parents have arrived on campus from England to help authorities in the search.

Katie Schrieber, a friend of Graham’s, said the England native was especially kind to strangers.

“Hannah was really good at making friends,” Schreiber said. “She’s always one of the first people to talk to you. And she’s so friendly, so outgoing.”


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NFL Commissioner Enlists Four Women to Help League’s Domestic Violence Policy


Allison Joyce/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, the NFL has decided it needs a woman’s perspective in shaping the league’s policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.

Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the league’s teams Monday that he has given NFL vice president of community affairs and philanthropy Anna Isaacson a new role as NFL vice president of social responsibility. Issacson will be responsible for developing education, training and support programs.

Goodell also announced the league was retaining the services of three women as senior advisors to help develop policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.

The three include Lisa Friel, the former head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office; Rita Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and Jane Randel, the co-founder of NO MORE, an organization that strives to raise the profile of and normalize the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault.

Teresa C. Younger, the president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, an advocacy group for women’s rights, reacted to Goodell’s announcement by issuing a statement saying, "Hiring three women as senior advisors is a start -- but this should not be where it ends.”

Younger’s statement continues, “We hope the NFL will be inclusive of the voices called to the table to address systemic cultural issues that perpetuate violence against women. The NFL needs to support victims, expand education for football players and fans at all levels, and dismantle sexism within football.”

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New California Wildfire Has Destroyed at Least 75 Buildings


Toa55/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WEED, California) -- A wildfire in the California town of Weed has destroyed at least 75 buildings and spread to cover 350 acres as of Monday night.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire is just 15 percent contained. Evacuations have been ordered for the communities of Weed, Carrick and Lake Shashinta, including at least 15,000 people.

[PHOTOS: California Wildfire Threatens Homes]

On Monday, the fire was fanned by high winds. Along with at least 11 other wildfires burning around the state, Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant told ABC News that more than 6,000 firefighters were on the frontlines of those fires.

The high temperatures, high winds, and drought conditions are believed to have helped fan the flames.


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FBI Announces Facial Recognition Program Is 'Operational'


FBI Building qingwa/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI announced on Monday that it has declared its Next Generation Identification System, for facial recognition, fully operational.

The NGI System was designed in the hopes of expanding the FBI's "biometric identification capabilities." Among the functional capabilities of the system are Rap Back, which enables authorized entities to receive status notifications on the criminal history of those in "positions of trust," such as teachers. The NGI System also includes the Interstate Photo System involving facial recognition and "will provide the nation's law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities."

Phase one of the NGI System was introduced in 2011.

An FBI statement called the latest advances "a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler."

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'Slender Man' Judge Says 'Reason to Doubt' Girl's Competency for Trial


iStock/Thinkstock(WAUKESHA, Wis.) -- A Wisconsin judge said Monday "there is reason to doubt" the competency of a 12-year-old girl to go on trial for allegedly stabbing a classmate 19 times to please the fictional character "Slender Man."

The judge ordered Anissa Weier to undergo a 30-day psychological evaluation to determine her competency. The prosecution did not object.

Weier, 12, and her friend, Morgan Geyser, are both charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the May 31 attack. Judge Michael Bohren has already determined that Geyser is not competent at this time to stand trial following a series of psychological exams.

Earlier this month, Weier's attorney, Assistant State Public Defender Joseph Smith Jr., sent a letter to the judge saying his client met with a forensic psychologist, and that “in his professional opinion, she is not presently competent to proceed.”

Before issuing his ruling Monday, Bohren said, "There is reason to doubt Ms. Weier's competency to proceed."

The survivor’s spokesman, Stephen Lyons of the Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. law firm, told ABC News that the girl’s family stands behind prosecutors’ efforts.

“They have the full confidence in the DA and his team and the judicial system that ultimately justice will be served,” Lyons said.

The 12-year-old survivor has remained anonymous since the attack on May 31, when she managed to attract the attention of a passing bicyclist. An online fundraising page -- “Hearts for Healing” -- has raised more than $60,000 for her recovery efforts. Additionally, thousands of people have sent the girl homemade hearts, messages of hope made of construction paper, fabric and wool.

She’s back at school now and making major strides, Lyons said.

“On May 31, this little girl was lured into the woods and stabbed 19 times. At that point, she was a victim ... and today she is a survivor,” Lyons said. “And that’s how we refer to her and to the family: They’re survivors. They rose above this horrific crime and they survived. And she is thriving."

“What an ultimate testimony of the human heart to know she can both physically heal and then emotionally begin this journey of healing,” he added.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the main goal for the suspects’ attorneys is to get the case transferred to juvenile court, which requires a waiver for children above the age of 10 who face murder or attempted murder charges.

It’s unlikely that both of the suspects will avoid trial or a criminal punishment, Abrams said.

“Incompetent does not mean insane. Incompetence is generally supposed to be a temporary state,” Abrams said. “The treatment is supposed to bring the defendant to a state of competence so they can be tried.”

Attorney Wendy Murphy, who is unrelated to this case, said the judge has a duty to get a complete understanding of the suspects’ mental state.

“The defense benefits greatly from putting the brakes on. And in a case like this, fighting about competency is one of the ways to put the brakes on,” Murphy said.

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Adrian Peterson Sorry for the 'Hurt' He Brought to His Son


Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Adrian Peterson said Monday that he wants the public to "understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child."

Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back who was benched after being charged with child abuse for allegedly disciplining his son with a switch, made his first public statement on the issue Monday.

"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser," he said in a statement released through his agent and posted on social media Monday.

"I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son," Peterson said.

[ CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STATEMENT ]

The incident occurred at his home in Texas this May but was not known publicly until Friday when he was indicted. He allegedly hit his 4-year-old son with a thin branch and the incident was reported by a doctor who was concerned about how much the boy was bleeding.

"I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen," Peterson said in the statement. "I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate."

Peterson has never spoken publicly about the ways in which he was disciplined as a child, but alluded to having received similar punishments as a child. He said in his statement, "I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man."

The Vikings benched the star running back for last week’s game but announced Monday that he will be reinstated this week. His next hearing is on Wednesday and he has not yet entered a plea.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said the team has met with Peterson and his lawyers several times before allowing him to return to the team this week.

"This is a difficult path to navigate... on how a parent disciplines their child," Spielman said. He added, "We believe he deserves to play while the legal process plays out.”

Spielman declined to say whether Peterson's actions were child abuse.

"We must defer ot the legal system to determine if he went too far, but we cannot make that judgment," he said.

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Convicted Killer Jodi Arias Selling Glasses She Wore During Trial


ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman who was convicted of stabbing, shooting and slitting the throat of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, is auctioning the glasses she wore during her 2013 trial.

"Get ready to own a one-of-a-kind piece of history," Arias' website says.

The starting bid for the spectacles begins at $500. The auction will close on Sept. 24. The website says 100 percent of the profits will go to a Phoenix-based non-profit, however it does not name the charity.

It's not the first time Arias has apparently tried to sell an item online from prison.

In January 2013, shortly after her murder trial began, Arias' jailhouse art was listed for sale online. At that time, descriptions listed with the art noted that the profits would go to costs associated with the trial, including paying for Arias’ family to travel from their homes in California to Arizona for the five-month trial.

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Fake House Cleaners Hit Homes in Upscale California Neighborhood


iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Two women are believed to have helped steal tens of thousands of dollars from homes by posing as cleaning people in California, police said

Surveillance video shows two women knocking on doors in the upscale California neighborhood, purportedly offering their services as maids.

Police allege that the would-be housekeepers are really part of a burglary ring now hitting some of the wealthiest communities in Los Angeles.

Officials said that if no one answered when the women knocked at the door, the women would then call their male accomplices, who would break in.

Surveillance video from inside a Bel Air home shows men ransacking the living room in broad daylight. The men took cash, electronics and passports, police said. The homeowners told police that the thieves also ripped a safe from the wall, making off with up to $40,000 worth of property.

Officer Sally Madera said five suspects were involved.

“If we can identify who these people are they could be directly linked to other crimes,” Madera told KABC.

Posing as service providers is not an uncommon tactic. A man was arrested in Orange County, California, in August after he posed as a delivery man to get into home and allegedly rob residents at gunpoint before leaving them bound in zip ties.

And in 2012, a Miami woman’s Valentine’s Day was ruined when a fake flower delivery man pulled a gun and robbed her.

To keep themselves safe, experts say, people should always ask for credentials from delivery people or other service workers who come to their home.

“Have adequate lighting outside, or windows, obviously, if you live in a house, to physically see who is out there to begin with,” Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News analyst, said. “I even recommend that people have some sort of speaker system.”

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Frantic Search for Gunman Who Ambushed Pennsylvania State Police Troopers


Cpl. Bryon Dickson (right) and Trooper Alex Douglass (left) pictured. (Pennsylvania State Police)(BLOOMING GROVE TOWNSHIP, Pa.) -- Authorities are searching for the gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania State Police Troopers, leaving one dead and the other seriously injured.

Police across three states – Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey – are participating in the search for the person or persons behind the ambush, which happened before 11 p.m. Friday during a shift change at the State Police Barracks in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County, in the northeast part of the state.

Cpl. Bryon Dixon, 38, a husband and father of two young boys, died at the scene. Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, is recovering in the hospital. Authorities say Douglass was conscious and talking Sunday after undergoing surgery.

The attack happened so quickly, the troopers didn’t have time to react.

State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said the attack at the remote outpost was calculated, and aimed specifically at law enforcement.

“I understand that many members of the community are concerned, and I wish I could lessen their concerns, but we have a very dangerous armed criminal … that is not in custody, and we do not believe any particular person is specifically at risk,” Noonan said.

A search in the immediate vicinity, including wooded areas and possible hiding places, came up empty. Police also set up a checkpoint, stopping motorists to see whether they may have seen anything the night of the attack.

“It’s a cowardly attack. It’s an attack on all of us in society and the people of Pennsylvania,” Noonan said.

A nonprofit group is offering a $50,000 reward for tips about the deadly assault.

Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, which posted the reward offer, asked anyone with information to call 800-4PA-TIPS or submit the tip online.


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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Criticized on Airplane Banners, TV Broadcasts


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sunday was a difficult day for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Commentators on NFL pregame shows questioned his leadership, while banners flew over three stadiums, the message simple: “Goodell Must Go,” with criticism simmering over the commissioner’s handling of players accused of domestic violence.

The women’s advocacy group UltraViolet was behind the banners, which appeared in Cleveland, San Francisco and East Rutherford, New Jersey. Another banner plane is slated to fly over Indianapolis Monday.

“It is time for Roger Goodell to resign, and for the NFL to get serious about its commitment to ending violence against women within the league,” Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, said in a release.

Goodell has been under fire over the league’s handling of a February attack between star running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancée Janay Palmer. An initial video showed Rice dragging a seemingly unconscious Palmer out of an elevator at an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino.

Rice was charged with aggravated assault.

Goodell met with the couple in June before levying a two-game suspension.

After a second video from the attack -- showing the fight inside the elevator -- emerged on TMZ last week, the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice, and the league suspended him indefinitely. But what did the league know? And how hard did it try to obtain the second video?

Former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III was selected to conduct a probe into the league’s handling of evidence in the Rice case.

NFL commentators were critical of Goodell Sunday.

"There's a question of Roger Goodell's honesty in the situation," former Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Howie Long, a studio analyst on Fox NFL Sunday said.

"I think the Ray Rice case has been handled wrong from the start," former New York Giant and Fox Sports analyst Michael Strahan said on Fox NFL Sunday. "Wrong for the NFL because of a two-game suspension without looking deeper into what they should have done."

The Rice situation isn’t the only violence incident plaguing the league. Shortly before Sunday’s game, the Carolina Panthers announced they had benched defensive end Greg Hardy, who is appealing a domestic violence conviction.

That decision came hours after Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he planned to start the 2013 Pro Bowl selection, who was found guilty in July of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend.

"I know y'all are wondering [about Greg Hardy]," Rivera said after Carolina's 24-7 victory over Detroit. "I made the decision this morning. It was my decision because it was in the best interest of the Carolina Panthers."

On Friday, the Minnesota Vikings deactivated running back Adrian Peterson, after police announced they were charging him with reckless or negligent injury to a child. His 4-year-old son sustained numerous injuries after Peterson allegedly spanked him with a switch, police said.

While parents in Texas -- and every other state in the nation -- have a right to spank their children, Montgomery County, Texas, District Attorney Phil Grant said that in this case a grand jury "determined that discipline was not reasonable."

Hall of Fame receiver and ESPN analyst Cris Carter, who played 12 seasons with the Vikings, said on ESPN's NFL Countdown that he was proud the team held Peterson out of its game against the New England Patriots.

"Take him off the field," he said, slapping his hand against the desk.

The three cases represent an ongoing problem for the NFL.

In late August, with the league already the focus of criticism for not being strict enough with players accused of domestic violence, Goodell wrote a letter to all 32 owners that toughened the league's domestic violence policy to a mandatory six-game suspension for a first offense.

"I didn't get it right," he said then. "Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."

For some, doing better means getting tougher.

"What the NFL should do to make this right is immediately ban anyone who is involved with domestic violence, even charged with it," ABC News sports analyst Christine Brennan said.


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Ray Rice Shows Up at Old High School


Ronald Martinez/Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice chose a football game Saturday to make his first public appearance since the NFL suspended him indefinitely for a domestic violence incident.

Rice, a graduate of New Rochelle High School in Westchester County, New York, returned to the sidelines of his alma mater along with his wife, who he was seen punching and knocking out in a video first posted on TMZ Sports a week ago.

The couple and their small daughter attended a game against Ramapo. Some fans were seen greeting the star while New Rochelle coach Louis DeRienzo remarked, "Ray is a part of our family, and a part of this program and that's why I'm happy he's here today. I know the character of the man and he will rise from this."

However, not all at New Rochelle High School were happy that Rice was back.

Principal Reginald Richardson wrote a letter to parents last week, saying, "We condemn his actions and know that solving problems with physical violence is never acceptable."

Meanwhile, Rice's photo and jersey were also removed from the high school's "wall of fame."

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Odile's Remnants Could Bring More Flooding to the Southwest


RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Hurricane Odile, the seventh major hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, was nearing the southern coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula on Sunday evening.

While a landfall is not expected with this system, flooding rain, dangerous storm surge, and hurricane-force winds are expected to impact much of southern and western Baja California through Monday.

The southern tip of Baja California will experience the worse conditions from Odile Sunday night and into early Monday. On Sunday evening, Cabo San Lucas was already reporting heavy rain and strong wind gusts.

Odile will continue to move in a general north-northwest direction, parallel to the peninsula. As the storm moves into cooler ocean water, it is forecast to slowly weaken towards the middle of the upcoming week.

While the storm will not impact the United States directly, the remnants from this system will bring a renewed risk for flooding across the desert Southwest. Tropical moisture will work its way across the Southwest, likely bringing areas of heavy rain and flash flooding.

Some cities that could experience flash flooding problems later this week include Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Palm Springs and Riverside, Calif.; and Las Vegas, Nev.

Phoenix has already experienced record-setting flooding this month. Last week, moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Norbert brought a record 3.29 inches of rain to the city in just one day.

The chances for heavy rain and flooding will increase over the course of the week. During the beginning of the work week, activity will be rather isolated. However, towards the second half of the week, more numerous storms, bringing torrential downpours, will be scattered across the region.


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Second 'Slender Man' Suspect Unfit to Stand Trial, Lawyer Argues


iStock/Thinkstock(WAUKESHA, Wis.) -- The second Wisconsin girl accused of stabbing a classmate 19 times, allegedly to please the fictional character "Slender Man," is unfit to stand trial, her lawyer contends.

Anissa Weier, 12, will be back in court Monday. She and her friend, Morgan Geyser, are both charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the May 31 attack.

In a letter to Judge Michael Bohren, Weier’s attorney, Assistant State Public Defender Joseph Smith Jr., said his client met with a forensic psychologist, and that “in his professional opinion, she is not presently competent to proceed.” That same argument worked for Geyser last month, when Bohren ordered her to receive treatment after two mental health experts said she was incompetent.

The survivor’s spokesman, Stephen Lyons of the Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. law firm, told ABC News that the girl’s family stands behind prosecutors’ efforts.

“They have the full confidence in the DA and his team and the judicial system that ultimately justice will be served,” Lyons said.

The 12-year-old survivor has remained anonymous since the attack on May 31, when she managed to attract the attention of a passing bicyclist. An online fundraising page -- “Hearts for Healing” -- has raised more than $60,000 for her recovery efforts. Additionally, thousands of people have sent the girl homemade hearts, messages of hope made of construction paper, fabric and wool.

She’s back at school now and making major strides, Lyons said.

“On May 31, this little girl was lured into the woods and stabbed 19 times. At that point, she was a victim...and today she is a survivor,” Lyons said. “And that’s how we refer to her and to the family: They’re survivors. They rose above this horrific crime and they survived. And she is thriving.

“What an ultimate testimony of the human heart to know she can both physically heal and then emotionally begin this journey of healing,” Lyons added.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the main goal for the suspects’ attorneys is to get the case transferred to juvenile court, which requires a waiver for children above the age of 10 who face murder or attempted murder charges.

It’s unlikely that both of the suspects will avoid trial or a criminal punishment, Abrams said.

“Incompetent does not mean insane. Incompetence is generally supposed to be a temporary state,” Abrams said. “The treatment is supposed to bring the defendant to a state of competence so they can be tried.”

Attorney Wendy Murphy said the judge has a duty to get a complete understanding of the suspects’ mental state.

“The defense benefits greatly from putting the brakes on. And in a case like this, fighting about competency is one of the ways to put the brakes on,” Murphy said.


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