US girl, 10, charged over baby's death

2012-08-31 22:05

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.

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 22:41

    I could not get myself to read further than the heading. I upsets one too much. A ten year old being charged? The American justice system is SICK! In many ways. Their jails are full of innocents, and the Americans are just generally a stupid society. Not that other societies are probably any better. But where it comes to their justice and jury system they are idiotic in that the system reflects that stupidity. That sick and stupid society mans that justice system with their sick and stupid society members. You can be a psycho or child molester or rapist and serve on a jury in a court of law. No real professionals there. Just the average stupid fat American. Like for example juries who find accused guilty on the sole fact that the accused did not show remorse during the trial itself, which was intended to prove or disprove his/her guilt before there can even be a question of remorse. At least in their self-aggrandizement they do help to protect the world against some of the worst dictators BUT they have no idea of the real nature of war and suppression of the enemy. That's why they eventually lose almost all their war/battle excursions. They will now run out of Afghanistan and leave all those helpless people (think especially women and children) to the mercy of the militant religious. Fools!

      Jane - 2012-09-01 10:31

      What on earth does the jury system and Afghanistan got to do with the fact that a 10 year old forced medication down a 3 month old babies throat and then proceeded to suffocate the little girl. I think you have commented on the wrong story.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 12:59

      It is obvious to me.

  • walter.lebza - 2012-09-01 08:23

    All mothers must stop running around on the streets doing man's business. Those who have time on their schedules to go and have sex must also be prepared to take some time to raise babies, the old fashioned way, out of the boardrooms and back in the kitchen to cook and nurse their babies. Because a baby needs a mother's love and cuddling, not a babysiter's. Thats the fruits of leaving your babies to babysitters. Now she's happy that a 10 year old girl is charged for murder? I'm disgusted every time I see those women with big tummies in the boardrooms and on streets wearing police uniform on motorbikes, when its time to deliver, they'll olny take one week sickleave, and after a week the're back in the boardrooms and on the streets, bossing everyone around. Because their babie's fathers are sissies, irresponsible, who allow them to do those things. And where's the father on this story? Maybe he's just a sperm bank, walking around like a headless chicken.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-01 08:38

      Walter, Congratulations !! You clearly won this weeks , biggest load of BS comment" Your lolly is in the post ! Keep it up !

      Jane - 2012-09-01 10:33

      walter, this isnt the dark ages. Most women are educated and play an important role in society. We are more than capable of being wifes, mothers and have careers. Go read a book and educate yourself, it might stop you from making such retarded comments in the future!

  • Leah - 2012-09-01 09:51

    Is the infant 3 months or a year old? Not that it matters; the fact remains that a 10 year old is suspected of the murder. What is wrong with this girl? And should her mother not be held responsible as well? How can idiots like this be allowed to have children?

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