19-year-old accused of stabbing Louisville teen to death appears in court as judge issues stern warning

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A teen has been stabbed to death and another is charged with her murder.

On Friday, a judge issued a strong warning to each of their families.

It happened during the formal arraignment for 19-year-old Tiffany James. A judge told both families arguing would not be tolerated in the courtroom.

James appeared emotional in court this morning. Her attorney, Brendan McLeod, asked for a bond reduction hearing and entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.

James is charged with murder after police say she stabbed 14-year-old Madison Branch to death last month. It happened at the Speedway gas station near the intersection of N. 21st Street and Duncan Street after investigators say a fight broke out between two groups of girls.

James' mother previously told WDRB this was a bullying situation, and that her daughter was acting in self-defense.

Branch's family agrees bullying was the motive, but they say Branch was not the bully.

Since the stabbing, attorneys acknowledge threats on social media have been made against both girls' families. Just last week, Branch's mother's boyfriend was arrested, accused of shooting up the James' family home and bashing windows.

On Friday, a judge said those actions are unacceptable and reminded the families fighting will not be tolerated in the courtroom.

Bond on James' warrant was originally set at $100,000 full cash, but that could be lowered to $50,000 at a hearing next month.

A pre-trial conference for James is also scheduled for August. 

Related stories:

Coroner releases name of 14-year-old girl stabbed to death near Speedway gas station

Families of suspect and victim tell different stories after 14-year-old Louisville girl stabbed to death

Teenage murder suspect's Louisville home shot up following 14-year-old's stabbing death

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