Teen Enters Plea In Hammer-Killing Case

A judge set a trial date Tuesday for a teenage girl who is accused of killing her mother with a claw hammer.

Heather D'Aoust was 14  when her mother, Rebecca D'Aoust , was killed on May 25. Prosecutors said in court that the 56-year-old woman was struck at least 15 times with the hammer.

On Monday, Judge Michael Wellington set an Aug. 10 trial date for the girl, who pleaded not guilty to murder and assault-with-a-deadly-weapon charges. The assault charge stems from an alleged subsequent attack on her father, James D'Aoust, which also allegedly took place with the same hammer.

Over the Internet, in draft text messages and conversations with a friend, the homicidal thoughts of a the Scripps Ranch girl apparently reached "critical mass" on the day before she admittedly bludgeoned her mother to death with her father's claw hammer.

Details about the buildup to the attack came out last week in testimony during a preliminary hearing .

The day before the killing, according to a San Diego police detective, Heather poured out feelings about killing her parents to a friend whom Rebecca caught having "sexual activity" with Heather in the girl's bedroom -- starting a simmering mother-daughter argument.

Her schoolteacher mother, who was also a counselor at Spreckels Elementary School, died of head injuries a day after the attack in the family's Scripps Ranch home.

Wellington set a status conference the teen, who is being tried as an adult, for Jan. 22. D'Aoust faces a possible prison sentence of 30 years to life.

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