US girl, 10, charged over baby's death

2012-08-31 22:05
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Portland -A 10-year-old girl was charged on Thursday with manslaughter in the death of a 3-month-year-old infant whose mother said the baby had ingested medication and been suffocated.

The girl, who is not being identified, is the youngest person to be charged with manslaughter in Maine in at least 25 years. The infant, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, of Clinton in central Maine, had been left overnight with an adult babysitter in nearby Fairfield.

The sitter called police early on July 8 to report that the infant was not breathing, authorities said. Emergency workers who arrived minutes later reported that the child was unresponsive.

The death of any child under 3 triggers an automatic investigation in Maine, and detectives uncovered some "troubling signs" before the state medical examiner declared the death a homicide, said Stephen McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Babysitter’s daughter

The death was declared a homicide on Wednesday, but investigators withheld further details on the cause of death.

Brooklyn's mother, Nicole "Nicki" Greenaway, of Clinton, said the 10-year-old was the sitter's daughter.

Authorities told her the baby had ingested medication to treat attention-deficit disorder and been suffocated, she said, adding that she also saw bruises on her daughter's body.

"I feel a little bit of relief that they're charging her daughter at this point, but the mom really needs to be responsible. She's the one I left my daughter with," Greenaway said.

The 10-year-old girl was already in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services when a summons was delivered to her attorney on Thursday, McCausland said.

Police declined to identify the girl, who is due in juvenile court in October. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

Greenaway said that the 10-year-old had changed her baby's diaper in the past, but that she had told the sitter an adult needed to be present at all times. Instead, the infant, who was reportedly fussy that night, was sleeping in a portable crib in the same room as the 10-year-old, Greenaway said.

Charge most appropriate

When Greenaway finally saw her daughter at a funeral home, the infant had a black eye, bruises on the bridge of her nose and marks that looked like fingerprints on her cheeks, she said.

McCausland said he couldn't comment on whether charges could be brought against the sitter. A person who answered the phone at a listing for her said on Thursday evening that she was not available.

The charge against the 10-year-old was filed after detectives consulted with the attorney general's office, which determined manslaughter was most appropriate, said Brenda Kielty, a spokesperson.

Unlike murder, which generally involves an intentional act, manslaughter charges are brought when a homicide is caused by reckless actions or criminal negligence.

The charge is extremely unusual because of the defendant's age.

Child killers

The state doesn't have data on the youngest person ever to be charged in a homicide in Maine, Kielty said.

But it's been at least 25 years - and possibly longer - since someone so young has been charged with manslaughter or murder in the state, officials said.

Nonetheless, such cases aren't unprecedented.

In January, a 10-year-old was taken into custody after a 12-year-old was stabbed to death in El Cajon, California. And a Florida boy was convicted in 2001 of killing a 6-year-old playmate when he was 12.
Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.