A 15-year-old Illinois girl will be tried as an adult for allegedly fatally shooting her mother in the head at point-blank range last summer.
Anna Schroeder faces two counts of first-degree murder, arson and concealment of a homicidal death. She had just turned 15 last July when she allegedly shot her mother, Peggy Schroeder, at their home in Morrison, Illinois.
Prosecutors allege Schroeder was in a romantic relationship with Rachel Helm, 16. According to Schroeder’s confession, first reported by SaukValley.com, the two teens feared that the 53-year-old woman would not approve of the pairing. When Peggy came home from work on July 6, Anna allegedly told her to put a towel over her face before shooting her in the head.
During a 2017 probable cause hearing, Whiteside County Detective David Molina testified about the crime.
According to Molina, Schroeder allegedly texted Helm about the killing. She even allegedly sent her girlfriend a picture of her mother’s body as proof of the killing.
Molina alleged that Helm arrived at Schroeder’s house and the two girls cleaned up the blood. Then, he alleged, the girls set the home on fire two days later in an effort to conceal the murder.
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When Helm returned home, she allegedly told her mother about the killing. The mom called the police.
According to police, Schroeder confessed to the killing that night.
On Thursday morning, Whiteside County Judge Trish Joyce decided that the case would be tried in adult court. Calling the crime “egregious,” she noted Schroeder’s lack of remorse as a factor. “I take absolutely no pleasure in making this decision,” she said in her ruling.
Helm is also being tried on charges of arson and concealment of a homicidal death in adult court.
If convicted as an adult, Schroeder faces a mandatory 20 to 60 years without parole or any good-time reduction for murder. She also faces an additional 3 to 7 years for arson, and 2 to 5 years for concealment.
If the judge had allowed her to be tried as a child, Schroeder would have faced indeterminate time in a juvenile facility, but would have been released before her 21st birthday.
Schroeder is being held on $1 million bond. She will have a preliminary hearing on July 2, in which she will enter a plea in adult court. PEOPLE was unable to reach her attorney, James Mertes, for comment.
It was not immediately clear if Helm has entered a plea or retained an attorney.