Suspect ordered to remain in custody

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A teenager suspected of stabbing and killing Northeast Middle School student Manuel Guzman on Tuesday will remain in custody, and his case remains in juvenile court.

The 14-year-old had his first hearing Friday in Jackson County Family Court. FOX4 isn’t naming him because he’s a juvenile. He faces first-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon charges in the stabbing.

He appeared virtually along with his aunt and grandma. His public defender argued for an at-home detention with an electronic monitor because he didn’t have a criminal history in Jackson County or any other county.

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The deputy juvenile officer insisted the suspect remain in detention at the juvenile facility, saying emotions and tension in the community behind this case are high, and that the 14-year-old could be a flight risk.

He also said it would be safer for the suspect to remain in detention.

Guzman’s family was in the courtroom on Friday. His mother, Vicenta Guzman, was emotional and did not speak with the media following the hearing. She did speak with FOX4 on Thursday.

“What they did to him was wrong. It’s not fair that they took my only child, my twin, my half. They took my heart away,” Guzman said.

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“He didn’t even make it to his graduation. He won’t make it to his football team no more. He won’t make it to college, but these other kids out here in this world will have that opportunity.”

Fourteen-year-old Manuel Guzman pictured in a Kansas City Chiefs jersey. The teen was stabbed and killed at Northeast Middle School on April 12, 2022.

Police say the stabbing happened when the suspect and Guzman got into a fight in a school restroom. Investigators say Guzman was stabbed six times.

The suspect returns to court for a detention hearing and pre-trial conference on May 4.

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