CARIBOU, Maine — A Limestone teenager on Thursday afternoon pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter stemming from the death of his 3-month-old daughter late last month.
Nicklas Jones, 17, appeared in Caribou District Court with his attorney, Anthony Trask of Presque Isle, for the less than five-minute hearing before Judge Ronald Daigle.
Jones is charged in the death of Joselyn Jones, who died April 27 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor from injuries she reportedly suffered four days earlier. Maine State Police investigators said the baby died from blunt force trauma to the head. Police allege that her father threw the baby into her crib to stop her from crying.
It is not clear at this point whether Jones will stand trial as a juvenile or an adult. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said after the proceedings that the state has filed a motion for a diagnostic evaluation to determine in which manner he will be tried.
If Jones stands trial as a juvenile, the hearing will begin on Aug. 27.
Dressed in a T-shirt and baggy jeans that sagged around his hips, Jones told the judge he understood his rights, but said nothing else.
A woman who was identified as Nicklas Jones’ mother also was at the hearing with another young woman.
Jones’ mother refused to verify her name and would not speak to the media.
“You can stay out of our lives, thanks,” she told a reporter.
Trask said he had no comment on the case.
Other members of the baby’s family did not appear to be in the courtroom.
Jones was arrested on May 1 and is being held at Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston.