Two teenage boys accused of stabbing two women at a youth center in North Platte could be behind bars for the rest of their lives, following their arraignment Wednesday in Lincoln County Court. The suspects, Keenan M. Lambert, 18, of Amherst and a Jordan M. Baker, 16, of Hastings, allegedly snuck up on the women shortly after midnight July 9 and stabbed them multiple times.
Each boy faces five felony charges. That could put them behind bars for 20-50 years on each charge.
The gravest charges are attempted first-degree murder (two counts each), as well as use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. Each of those three charges carries a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.
After the bleeding victims managed to lock themselves safely in the office, the teens left the building and stole a car that belonged to one of the women. They were caught about an hour later 60 miles east of North Platte.
Each of them is also charged with escape and theft. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
At the arraignment, both of them asked for a public defender.
Presiding Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull told Baker, who is 16, that he could choose to have his case transferred to juvenile court after he consults with an attorney.
One woman was stabbed five times and the other twice, according to several people familiar with incident. The women are recovering - one a hospital in Omaha and the other in North Platte.
The Nebraska Youth Center is home as many as a dozen boys at one time who do not have a safe home otherwise.
The center opened two years ago at 18th and Washington on the north side of North Platte, in a residential area a few blocks northeast of Madison Middle School.
Boys typically stay six months or longer. They are put through a regimen of accountability while receiving independent living instructions and social skills support and therapy.