Hearing continues on whether to move teen charged for fentanyl-overdose death to juvenile court

She is charged for her role in the drug OD death of an 18-year-old
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 5:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 3:08 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - 16-year-old Maylia Sotelo appeared in Brown County Court Branch 8 for the continuation of her reversal hearing. In February, Sotelo asked for her case to be moved to Juvenile Court. Sotelo is currently charged as an adult for 1st Degree Reckless Homicide/Deliver Drugs.

A narcotics officer took the stand and admitted Sotelo was a major drug dealer in Green Bay Schools.

“Is this the largest drug dealer of fentanyl identified in the schools in Brown County?” asked Deputy District Attorney Wendy Lemkuil.

“Yes,” the narcotics officer answered. He also mentioned this seizure of fentanyl in particular was in the top 10 seizures the Brown County Narcotics Task Force did last year.

The defense for Maylia Sotelo argued the case should go to Juvenile Court. During Thursday’s “reverse waiver” hearing, both sides argued where the case should land.

State Attorney Lemkuil said one of the biggest problems with keeping Sotelo in Juvenile Court is the duration of any potential sentence.

“She’s not going to be here long,” Lemkuil said. “She gets the serious Juvenile Offender Program. It’s five years and she’s out. The only system that allows continuity of services, care, and protection to the public and allows her a long enough opportunity to change her ways is the adult system, and it’s based on that.”

The state called Aaron Alexander-Wolf to the stand. He is the supervisor in the Youth Justice Department for Brown County. Wolf oversees the caseworker who is currently assisting Maylia and the Sotelo family. The defense argued he shouldn’t testify because of confidentiality, however, the judge allowed it so the juvenile system could be explained.

Wolf was asked about a previous case involving Sotelo. There was a separate petition that had been filed in juvenile court for another waiver.

“Are you asking what our ultimate recommendation was in that case?” Alexander-Wolf wanted to clarify.

“Yeah, whether it was appropriate for her to remain and receive services in juvenile court, or whether there was a lack of opportunity for services in juvenile that she should go to adult court? Yes,” Lemkuil said.

“Our recommendation was that she should be waived to the adult court on the juvenile petition,” Alexander-Wolf responded.

The judge can only grant a reverse waiver if the juvenile proves they cannot receive adequate treatment in the criminal justice system.

Sotelo will be back in court for a decision on her reverse waiver hearing on July 17 at 8:30 a.m.

The criminal complaint describes the teen’s grandmother calling first responders on the morning of December 3 because her grandson locked himself in his room and wasn’t responding. A paramedic forced their way into the room and found the teen slumped over and beyond help. Police found evidence that illegal drugs were used in the room. An autopsy confirmed the victim, who was 18, died from a fentanyl overdose.

The victim’s mother provided police with screenshots and video of a conversation on her son’s phone. Police traced one message to a girl identified only by her initials in the complaint where she told a friend the victim “got laced.” She told police she knew the victim smoked Percocet and heard about “a bad batch” going around. She admitted the 18-year-old arranged to buy the Percocet while he was at her house and they planned to smoke it together.

She said it was the first time they purchased drugs from the girl. Police used a law enforcement database for the Facebook profile and identified the teen, who was already under investigation by the Brown County Drug Task Force. They arranged a drug buy, where they took her into custody.