Girl pleads "no answer" to manslaughter charge

5:49 PM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The 11-year-old girl facing manslaughter charges for the death of three month old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway entered a no answer plea in Maine District court in Skowhegan. This was the young girl's first appearance in court.

The 10 year old faces one class A manslaughter charge...for recklessly causing the death of the infant. The no answer plea means she is not prepared to either admit or deny her action until further review and evaluations.

According to police, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway was 3 months old when she died on July 8 from injuries she received while under the care of a babysitter in Fairfield. Brooklyn's mother says police told her that her daughter had ingested medication and been suffocated. Police say it wasn't the sitter who hurt the baby, it was her daughter, who was 10 at the time.

Authorities would not discuss the status of the investigation.

Since the charges were filed the girl has been in the custody of child protective services.

Monday the judge agreed that she could be released on three conditions. First she is to have no contact with the victim's family. She must follow the rules of juvenile correctional services. Finally, she would need to cooperate with any evaluations decided by the court.

Defense Attorney John Martin requested an evaluation of competence. The state did not object. Martin said the outcome of the evaluation will steer the rest of the case, "It's going to make that first determination that is going to be something that's important to this case."

Andrew Benson with the Attorney General's Office said, "There will be hearing in regards to her competence in which the judge will make that determination that she is ultimately determined to be incompetent then the department of mental health and welfare will have the obligation to have to restore her to competence."

State forensic service will administer the evaluation. Both parties will meet on February 28th for a trial status conference and decide the next step to take.

As a juvenile the maximum sentence will be time in a youth development center until she is 21 years old. According to the state, she is the youngest person to be charged with manslaughter in thirty years.

Because of the girl's age, NEWS CENTER is not releasing her name.

NEWS CENTER

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