Original article no longer available
Tyler Morning Telegraph
By CASEY KNAUPP, Staff Writer
Feb 29, 2008
A 17-year-old girl who returned to her former Robert E. Lee High School campus and stabbed a male student because he was dating her ex-girlfriend, was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison for injuring him and the principal who restrained her.
Felicia McMillan pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing Shane McCaughan and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant for cutting REL Principal Roger McAdoo.
The defendant, who has an extensive juvenile criminal history, was sentenced to the maximum 20 years for the McCaughan assault and 25 years for the McAdoo assault, for which she faced probation or five years to life in prison. Judge Jack Skeen Jr., of the 241st District Court, said she would serve the sentences at the same time and would be eligible for parole after serving half of the prison term. Skeen also ordered her to pay $19,034 in restitution to McCaughan.
Ms. McMillan dropped out of high school a couple of weeks before the Nov. 7 incident.
McCaughan said Ms. McMillan came into the cafeteria that day while he ate with his girlfriend. She asked him if he was dating her girlfriend and he replied no, he said, because he didn’t want her to get mad at him.
After school that day, at about 4 p.m., the victim said he was outside with friends when he gave McMillan’s ex-girlfriend a hug and Ms. McMillan pushed him, telling him to get off of her girl, he said. McCaughan said Ms. McMillan then pushed him, or so he thought, as he held his hand to his side. His friends began yelling for him to run and he saw her lunging at him from behind. He said that as he ran down toward the field house, he looked down and discovered his hand was covered in blood and that he had been stabbed. McCaughan sought help from his coach and was taken to the hospital. He said the stab wound barely missed his spleen, but he required no surgery and was released from the hospital the next day.
“I’m really glad she didn’t have a gun because otherwise, I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said, adding that she would have killed him.
McCaughan said he still thinks about what happened every day and he remains in fear of Ms. McMillan, who he is afraid will come back and “finish the job.”
McAdoo testified about seeing Ms. McMillan chasing McCaughan with the knife and tackling her. As he tried to restrain her, his hand was slashed.
Ms. McMillan tearfully apologized to the victims and said she never meant to do what she did. “I was just upset and not on my medication,” she said.
Ms. McMillan had been on medication for depression for a few years and did not take her dosage the morning of the stabbing, although she did take them the night before. She admitted she was taking her medication when she committed her prior offenses in 2005 and 2006.
After going to the high school campus earlier that day, the defendant met some friends at the mall and borrowed a knife before walking back to campus, where she found her girlfriend. After she refused to talk to her, Ms. McMillan said she showed her the knife and told her, “I’ve got something for your boyfriend,” she said.
Ms. McMillan walked to the parking lot with the open knife hidden beneath her jacket sleeve. She said she found McCaughan, started “cussing” him, lost control, pushed him and stabbed him. She said she tried to stab him again, but he ran. She chased after him, but was restrained by McAdoo and immediately dropped the knife, Ms. McMillan said. She said a campus police officer handcuffed her and that while he drove her away in a go-cart, she jumped out and was restrained again.
Ms. McMillan said she felt like she had been pushed over the edge with her girlfriend calling her all of the time antagonizing her.
Beginning in January 2005, as a juvenile, Ms. McMillan has been adjudicated of two charges of terroristic threat, burglary of a habitation, burglary of a vehicle and theft. After having her probation revoked, she served about a year in the Texas Youth Commission and was released in April 2007.
Ms. McMillan said that, if given probation, she wanted to get her GED, go to college and become a veterinarian. She said she believed she would stop doing bad things when she got out because she missed her family.
Ricky McMillan, the defendant’s father, said he had taken his daughter out of school two weeks before the incident at her request because she was in trouble for tardiness and truancies. He said after a week and a half at the Boys and Girls Club, she wanted to go back to REL, so he took her there the morning of Nov. 7 to re-enroll her. But, he said, they were told to return the following day. When they were stopped at a red light in Tyler, he said his daughter got out of his vehicle and, by the time he was able to turn around, she was gone.
McMillan said his daughter has been getting counseling at the Andrew’s Center and she has been taking medication that seems to be helping.
Sheila McMillan, the defendant’s aunt, said her niece needed help because she was suicidal and needed counseling. She said Felicia’s girlfriend called her every day, trying to upset her by telling her she was having a relationship with a boy. She said she didn’t think Felicia really meant to hurt anyone.
Assistant Smith County District Attorney Aaron Rediker said the attack on the campus was especially terrifying because of how calmly, patiently and calculatingly it was planned. He said because of her rage, jealousy and to get back at her ex-girlfriend, she planned to attack McCaughan and almost killed him. He asked the judge to sentence her to the maximum terms.
Defense attorney Don Davidson said he believed his client had remorse and regret for what she did, which he said was a crime of passion and not planned. He said she was not on her medication and had been pushed over the edge by the girl. He asked that Ms. McMillan be placed on the strictest terms of probation so she could get back to her family.
Assistant District Attorney Zach Davis said that, if the defendant would have caught up to the victim when she chased him, he’d be dead, he said, adding that the bravery of McAdoo put an end to it. He asked the judge to put her in the penitentiary for as long as he could to ensure the safety of society.