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Girl, 13, charged in stabbing death of boy

Keith Sampson wanted to be a professional basketball player like Shaquille O'Neal.

But Keith, a freshman at Zephyrhills High School, never got the chance.

They ended when Keith, a lanky boy more than 6 feet tall, was pronounced dead about 6 p.m. Sunday, an hour after he was stabbed through his heart with a paring knife.

Police have charged a 13-year-old girl with second-degree murder in Keith's slaying.

Witnesses told police that the girl stabbed Keith during an argument on King Street in front of Lincoln Heights Park in Zephyrhills. She is not named because of her age.

Zephyrhills police received a call about 4:55 p.m., police Capt. Robert Howell said. Officers at the scene administered CPR until an ambulance arrived. Keith was taken to East Pasco Medical Center, where he died.

The girl who allegedly stabbed Keith walked home. Police picked her up later, and she directed them to where she had tossed the knife, Howell said. She was charged with aggravated battery, which was upgraded to second-degree murder after Keith died.

Witnesses told investigators that Keith, who lived in the Lumberton area, and the Zephyrhills girl were dating, and were arguing over the return of some jewelry they had traded, Howell said.

The argument began outside a home in the Green Meadows subdivision where a relative of the girl lives. Keith and two cousins had ridden there on bicycles. Outside the home, witnesses said, the girl slashed one of the tires of Keith's bicycle with the paring knife.

Later, at Lincoln Heights Park, the girl still had the knife, Howell said.

Witnesses said Keith was trying to take the knife from her hand and fell backward. When he moved toward her again, she stabbed him once in the chest, they said.

The girl was held in the Juvenile Detention Center in East Pasco. Her mother said she spoke to her daughter by phone on Monday. "I know she didn't mean to do it," she said. "That's what she keeps telling me. She keeps sobbing and saying, "I didn't mean to do it.' "