STILLWATER — In a surprise development that outraged the victim’s parents, a first-degree murder charge as a youthful offender was dropped Tuesday against a 14-year-old Cushing girl, who then admitted to the slaying as a juvenile.

Maria Lynn Wiley, who turns 15 in late March, was ordered placed in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, where she could be held until her 19th birthday. She was to be immediately transported to Central Oklahoma Juvenile Facility in Tecumseh.

“She could be discharged early if she meets the treatment objectives,” juvenile court prosecutor Mike Kulling said.

Wiley was originally scheduled to stand trial this week on a first-degree murder charge as a youthful offender in the May 19 slaying of Alecia Rena Dean, 23, of Cushing.

Dean was sitting in her car behind her brother’s residence, where Wiley had been staying, when Dean was stabbed three times. She was pronounced dead at Cushing Regional Hospital about two hours later, police said.

Dean, who was engaged to Wiley’s cousin, was planning to drive to the Cushing Police Department to ask that Wiley be removed from the property, which Dean owned, police said.

Wearing leg irons In juvenile court Tuesday, Wiley admitted that she stabbed Dean with a knife and claimed that there was mutual combat.

Wiley said that Alecia Dean wanted her out of her brother’s house.

“When I wouldn’t hit her, she said she’d go to the police. I called her a bad name,” before fatally stabbing her, Wiley said.

“I was on pills, Xanax, and weed,” Wiley told Payne County Associate District Judge Robert Murphy Jr., who allowed the public into the courtroom with the agreement of the prosecution and defense.

Wiley, who has a long history of being a runaway, has a fifth-grade education and began living on the street at about age 10, according to court documents. She started having sex at age 11 with men in their 20’s to get drugs, court records show.

Wiley “perceived the victim to be a romantic rival for her ‘boyfriend,"” according to Oklahoma City psychologist Herman Jones’ assessment, which was contained in a report prepared for the Office of Juvenile Affairs last summer.

Two months before Dean was killed, Joel Paul Schofield, then 27, of Cushing — the slain woman’s fiance — was found in a Cushing motel room with Wiley, then 13; a 15-year-old girl; and another man, authorities alleged.

Schofield faces a felony charge of contributing to the delinquency of both minors, who were alleged to be runaways in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana within 2,000 feet of Cushing High School.

Schofield was also charged with two drug felonies, possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, both with an intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a school, and with two misdemeanors, possession of drug paraphernalia and attempting to destroy evidence. Schofield allegedly tried to flush meth down a toilet.

Schofield, who is due to appear in court Friday on those charges, admantly denied at a preliminary hearing in the slaying that he had a sexual relationship with Wiley, who is his cousin, and that he ever gave her meth or alcohol.

In court Tuesday, after Wiley admitted to facts constituting first-degree manslaughter in Alecia Dean’s death, Murphy found her delinquent and ordered that her case be reviewed in 180 days.

Facing the slain woman’s family in court, Wiley then said, “I want to say I’m sorry that Alecia lost her life — that’s all.”

After court recessed, the victim’s mother, Sammie Dean of Stroud, said, “I didn’t think that her apology was very sincere.”

“She needs to apologize to the little boy left without a mother. We had a hard time getting him to go to school today. He’s 10,” Sammie Dean said about the slain woman’s child. “All he really wants is his mom back.”

Wearing a button with her daughter’s photo, she said, “I want to scream from the rooftops there’s no justice for my daughter, for society.”

In spite of her disillusionment with the criminal justice system, Sammie Dean praised the Cushing Police Department: “They did their job — they were there for us.”

The victim’s father, Lloyd Dean of Stroud, angrily said, “If the DA got off their tail end and done their job, this would have been resolved in a conviction,” rather than being handled in juvenile court.

“There would be justice for my daughter and society.

“I don’t think the DA done their job. They basically told us they couldn’t afford to lose,” at a murder trial.

“The (Cushing) Police Department did their job. They got the murderer. They got the knife. The prosecutor didn’t do their job.”

Lloyd Dean said that he and his wife had no idea that Wiley would be allowed to admit to the slaying in juvenile court, rather than as a youthful offender.

“They just sold this family out,” Lloyd Dean said.

Sammie Dean said that the prosecutors “should level with us.

“I’m totally outraged about it — I don’t know what the court system values a life at.”

When the judge asked First Assistant District Attorney Tom Lee in court how the victim’s family felt, Lee said, “They’re not happy with the disposition.”

After court recessed, Lee explained why prosecutors decided to offer a first-degree manslaughter plea bargain to Wiley as a juvenile, rather than take her to trial on a first-degree murder charge as a youthful offender.

“We have a 14-year-old girl that would have appeared before a jury. We knew she would assert self-defense.

“Rather than risk acquittal, our goal was to keep her in custody as long as we could,” Lee said.

“The only way we could proceed on manslaughter was through juvenile court,” Lee said..

He said that the only crime that a 14-year-old can be charged with as a youthful offender is first-degree murder.

Lee said that a 14-year-old convicted of murder as a youthful offender could conceivably be bridged to adult prison after age 19.

Lee said that he fully expects Wiley will be held in a juvenile facility until age 19.

“She’s healthy, off drugs and alcohol. She’s in a stable environment,” Lee said.

The slain woman’s aunt, Sigrid Yates of Kellyville, said in a phone interview Tuesday that she supports the District Attorney’s handling of the case.

Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson was out of the office Tuesday and unavailable for comment.