15-year-old will face judge next week in mother's killing

Photo by Sharra Klug

Photo by Sharra Klug

LAWRENCEVILLE — A 15-year-old Braselton girl is scheduled to face a Gwinnett judge next week in the fatal shooting of her mother, a U.S. Army recruiter, records show.

Police believe an April 6 argument led the girl to shoot Karen Moore, 42, in the back of the head at their Sahale Falls Drive home.

The teen is being tried as an adult on a single count of murder. She’s due to appear Friday afternoon in Gwinnett Magistrate Court for a probable cause hearing, court records show.

Authorities initially thought the case would be handled in the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, which covers Barrow, Jackson and Banks counties.

Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said the location of the killing was determined to be Gwinnett County after further investigation.

Police responded to the home the afternoon of April 7, after the girl had asked a neighbor to check on her mother. A coroner determined Moore had been killed the day before.

An arrest warrant states the teen initially attempted to report the killing as a suicide.

Moore was an Army recruiter based in Athens. At the time of the shooting, the girl’s father, a sergeant major, was stationed in Alabama; her brother was in Alabama performing National Guard drills, police said.

During interviews, police said the teen admitted to firing the handgun after an argument over several issues, including a boy.

She was denied bond at a court appearance Monday.

Police also arrested the girl’s alleged beau, Christopher Nieves, 17, charging him with having sex with a minor.

Officials said the killing was Braselton’s first homicide in two decades.