SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A hearing to determine if an 11-year-old girl from Fairfield accused of killing a baby is competent to stand trial has been postponed because of expected bad weather, a state official said Wednesday.
The competency hearing was scheduled to take place at Skowhegan District Court on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. It has been rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 15, according to a clerk at the court.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who is prosecuting the case for the state, said that the postponement was due to forecasted snow.
On Monday, Judge Charles LaVerdiere ruled that the hearing will be closed to the public.
Defense attorney John Martin of Skowhegan requested a competency hearing for the juvenile in October, which was granted.
A competency hearing is “to see if she … understands what lawyers do, what judges do, what court proceedings are for and so forth,” said Benson in October.
Martin filed a motion on Feb. 19 to keep the hearing closed to the public. Benson filed a motion to keep it open on Feb. 21.
LaVerdiere sided with the defense.
“When read together, it is plain that the competency hearing … is not ‘a proceeding on a juvenile crime’ or part of that proceeding; rather, the competency hearing is a condition precedent to conducting any further proceedings on the juvenile crime once the issue of competency has been raised and the proceedings on the juvenile crime have been suspended,” LaVerdiere wrote in his decision.
The girl, who the Bangor Daily News is not naming because she’s a juvenile, is charged with reckless or criminally negligent manslaughter in the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway.
Brooklyn was in the care of the girl’s mother in Fairfield on the night of July 8, 2012.
According to the baby’s mother, Nicole Greenaway of Waterville, her infant subsequently was left alone with the then-10-year-old girl.
Greenaway said in August that a toxicology report revealed that medicine for attention deficit disorder was found in Brooklyn’s system. She said it’s the same medication prescribed to the 11-year-old daughter of the baby sitter. There also were bruises on the baby’s face from when she was suffocated, allegedly by the girl, according to Greenaway.
The autopsy report has not yet been made available to the public.