A 16-year-old girl who allegedly encouraged the killing of a Kiona-Benton City High School classmate appeared in court for the first time Thursday.
Fe H. Hadley is charged in Benton County Superior Court as an adult with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
It is the same charge filed against Jeremiah D. Cunningham, also 16, who allegedly plotted with Hadley to stab the classmate behind the Ki-Be Red Apple Market on Nov. 15.
Both cases were bumped up to adult court automatically because of their age and the seriousness of the allegations.
However, Judge Bruce Spanner on Thursday agreed to a lower bail for Hadley since her father drove the teen to the Juvenile Detention Center in Kennewick within 20 minutes after hearing she had an arrest warrant.
Hadley is being held on $100,000, while Cunningham’s bail is $500,000.
Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor, when questioned about the disparity, also noted that Hadley’s “alleged co-conspirator was the one actually, under our theory, who was going to commit the murder.”
Hadley, who pleaded innocent to the charge, has a Jan. 22 trial date. Cunningham’s trial is Jan. 16.
Court documents say Cunningham did not like Ryan Vaughn, 18, and planned to kill him after Hadley lured him from the nearby school campus.
A third teen has not been charged. The 16-year-old boy allegedly helped Cunningham scope out the store’s security cameras and was supposed to keep Vaughn behind the market during the attack.
The three students were expelled for 10 days. It is not known if the expulsions became permanent or if they have been allowed to return to school.
Superintendent Wade Haun has not responded to multiple emails and phone calls from the Herald about their status with the school district.
A teen witness told sheriff’s detectives that Hadley previously dated Cunningham for four to five weeks, but the two broke up.
Vaughn told investigators he also dated Hadley but ended it after just one week because Cunningham “was getting too protective over her,” court documents said.
Vaughn said Cunningham was overly attached to Hadley, and Cunningham had been spreading rumors about him at school.
Hadley told a friend she had an older boyfriend who was going to kill Vaughn at lunch Nov. 15 behind the market as a birthday surprise for her, documents said. She said the boyfriend’s name was Lea.
Cunningham would later tell detectives that he had created a Facebook profile using the name Lea. Hadley admitted she knew that profile for her made-up boyfriend actually belonged to Cunningham, court documents said.
In an interview with the detectives, Hadley said she told Cunningham “that if he came up with a plan to kill (Vaughn), she would get him to the location.”
The teen girl also told police that she and Cunningham started talking about killing Vaughn about two weeks earlier, documents said.
Investigators found numerous text messages on Vaughn’s cellphone in which Hadley gave a specific time, date and location for a meetup, documents said.
Hadley first contacted Vaughn on Nov. 13 asking him to meet her at the market to talk. She persisted over the next couple of days, finally getting Vaughn to agree, documents said.
Vaughn and Hadley went into the market and he bought a drink. When he left the store, he saw someone in a red mask gesturing for him to come closer. Instead, Vaughn left and returned to school.
The plot was foiled by other students who saw a suspicious man at the store and helped derail the attack.
Cunningham claimed he had a knife but later threw it in a Dumpster behind the school. He was arrested a week later.