Teen Girl Charged as Adult in Mom's Slaying, Texted Boyfriend ‘I Want Her Gone'

The girl's 20-year-old soldier boyfriend is also facing charges in the woman's stabbing death.

Authorities charged a 14-year-old Lehigh County girl as an an adult in the stabbing death of her mother after investigators discovered text messages she sent to her soldier boyfriend ahead of the killing, including one that read, "I want her gone."

Jamie Silvonek, of Upper Macungie Township, is facing multiple charges, including homicide, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and criminal conspiracy.

Investigators said they found the teen girl naked in bed with her boyfriend and co-conspirator, Caleb Barnes, hours after discovering the poorly buried body of the girl's mother, 54-year-old Cheryl Silvonek, on the 5700 block of Haasadahl Road in South Whitehall Township on March 15.

Barnes, of Fort Meade, Maryland, had previously been charged for his role in the stabbing death of the girl's mother. However, prosecutors filed a new criminal complaint against Barnes, who turns 21 on Sunday, charging him with the same offenses as his teen girlfriend.

He previously faced one count of statutory sexual assault of a juvenile, but that charge has been withdrawn since "Silvonek is now a defendant in the homicide, and the Commonwealth cannot prove that charge without her testimony," the DA's Office said.

The teenager's attorney, John Waldron, said Thursday he believes she was under Barnes' control, given the age disparity.

"There has to be some type of duress or coercion," he said.

Waldron said he intends to have Jamie Silvonek examined by a forensic psychologist and will petition to have the case moved to juvenile court.

"She cried incessantly and told me how much she missed her mom and told me she was coerced, she was afraid she was going to be killed, she was afraid her dad was going to be killed," Waldron said. "So there's a lot of things we have to decipher here."

Barnes' public defender did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. An Army spokesman said Barnes enlisted in February 2012 and is from El Paso, Texas.

Authorities said Barnes and Jamie Silvonek met in October, when she was 13, but she told him she was 17.

The girl's mother had learned of the couple's age difference and insisted her daughter end the relationship with 20-year-old Barnes, investigators said.

Upset her mother wanted the pair to breakup, Silvonek conspired with Barnes to kill her, texting her boyfriend about their plan ahead of the deadly stabbing, authorities said.

Records show Silvonek, who lied and told Barnes she was 17-years-old, texted him at 11:12 a.m. on March 14, instructing him to tell her mother he was 16 ½-years-old.

The boyfriend arrived at the family's Randi Lane home later that day and spoke with the victim, who even showed him her daughter's passport to prove her age, officials said.

Unable to convince the couple to call off the relationship, the mom texted her husband to say she was driving them to a concert in Scranton, a criminal affidavit shows.

Meanwhile her daughter had been sending texts to Barnes -- allowing investigators to compare the exchanges with video surveillance to piece together a timeline for the night of the woman's death, according to the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office.

"She threatened to throw me out of the house. I want her gone," Silvonek texted at 1:30 p.m. on March 14.

About 16 minutes later, she texted him, "I just need to you [sic] be able to come over so we can do whatever necessary, honestly."

At 4:27 p.m., Silvonek wrote: "I'm going to go to the bathroom while you do it okay. I'll come right out as soon as you're done."  

"Why don't we wait until we get in the car with her?" she asked in a text sent at 4:42 p.m.

The two suspects continued texting and, at 5:14 p.m., the girl wrote, "Just do it," according to the DA's office.

Among a flurry of texts between the couple, Barnes wrote at 5:22 p.m., "There's no way she could fake a passport," according to the criminal affidavit. 

As the trio headed in the mom's Ford Freestyle to Scranton for the concert, Silvonek and Barnes continued to plot the murder through text messages.

"I love you. We can do this...We'll just drive her car then, right?" Silvonek wrote at 5:56 p.m.

"No. That leaves us as the suspects," Barnes replied.

Investigators tracked the car's path on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and used surveillance footage from the Scranton Hilton, where the concert took place, to determine the victim was no longer with the suspects when they entered Chris' Family Restaurant on Tilghman Street in Allentown just after midnight on March 15.

Neighbors reported seeing the girl enter her Randi Lane home around 1:30 a.m. while a car horn was intermittently sounded from a nearby parked car.

About 30 minutes later, Silvonek and Barnes were captured on surveillance cameras entering a Walmart at 1091 Mill Creek Road in Allentown, according to the DA's Office.

"At no time does Jamie Silvonek appear to be under duress or coercion," the DA's office said. "Jamie Silvonek is observed physically directing Caleb Barnes by reaching out to grab his arm inside the Walmart. Silvonek and Barnes purchased multiple items including gloves, bleach, rubbing alcohol, a box cutter and a file."

Authorities discovered the 54-year-old woman's body in the early  morning hours of March 15 when they returned to the 5700 block of Haasadahl Road --  where they observed a suspicious vehicle earlier, according to reports. Officers noticed that dirt had been disturbed and found the victim's body buried -- stab wounds to her neck.

Investigators later found the car ditched in a pond off Applewood and Huckleberry roads -- a large pool of blood still inside.

Barnes is enlisted as an Army specialist out of Fort Meade.

Authorities determined that Barnes stabbed the woman in her driveway and ditched the car while with the 14-year-old girl. Prosecutors said Barnes had sexual relations with the girl on at least three occasions in recent weeks.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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