FAIRFIELD, Maine — The 11-year-old girl charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a 3-month-old baby last summer still is being evaluated by the state to determine her competency to stand trial, according to the Maine attorney general’s office.
“She is still undergoing evaluation. There is no next court date set,” Brenda Kielty, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said Monday.
The girl from Fairfield, whom the Bangor Daily News is not naming because she is a juvenile, is charged with reckless or criminally negligent manslaughter in the death of Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway.
The girl made her initial appearance in Skowhegan District Court on Oct. 22.
John Martin of Skowhegan, the girl’s attorney, pleaded “no answer” on her behalf.
A “no answer” plea in juvenile court is “neither an admission nor denial. A ‘no answer’ comes into play when there are questions about skills associated with [the] competence” of the defendant, Kielty said in October.
Martin requested a competency hearing for the juvenile during the Oct. 22 court appearance, which was granted.
The competency hearing was ordered “to see if she … understands what lawyers do, what judges do, what court proceedings are for and so forth,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who is prosecuting the case for the state, said outside the court building. Because of the request, Benson said he wasn’t surprised by the plea.
Kielty said Thursday a date for the competency hearing has not yet been set.
Brooklyn was in the care of the girl’s mother in Fairfield on the night of July 8. According to Nicole Greenaway of Clinton, 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 was 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.
“It looks like someone had beat her up,” said Greenaway in August. “Fingerprint bruises all over her face. A black eye. Bruises across the bridge of her nose.”
Benson declined to give an official cause of death after the October hearing. He said the girl has been in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services since she was charged with manslaughter.
If convicted, the 11-year-old would be in state custody until she is 21.
Ashley Tenney, mother of the 8-month-old baby, who survived, told the BDN in September that doctors told her they had found amphetamines in her daughter’s system that matched medication prescribed to the 11-year-old for attention deficit disorder.
Brooklyn’s death was declared a homicide on Aug. 29, and the then-10-year-old girl was charged with manslaughter the next day. On Sept. 19, the attorney general’s office filed a juvenile petition formally charging the girl with manslaughter.
Benson said the 11-year-old is the youngest person in Maine charged with manslaughter “over the last 20 or 30 years.”