An 11 year-old girl, in Maine, is still not competent to stand trial for the death of an infant left in her care July 7, 2012, according to recommendations from the state prosecutor.
Kelli Murphy was charged with juvenile manslaughter in the death of Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway. According to Judge Charles LaVerdiere, it is very likely she will be competent to face the charges in the future.
The States forensic examiners have the responsibility of reexamining Murphy in six months.
On July 7, 2012, Nicole Greenaway left her two children in the care of Amanda Huard, a friend and co-worker, the mother of Murphy.
Huard left the infant, Brooklyn, in the care of her 10-year-old, Murphy, while she watched movies on TV in another room. Although she admits to hearing Brooklyn cry, she never went to check on the infant.
Early on the morning of July 8, 2012, Brooklyn was unresponsive and later died. Brooklyn died from suffocation and medication was found in her system identical to the medication that Murphy took for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Greenaway also reported to the media that Brooklyn had bruises on her nose, a black eye, and marks on her cheeks that were consistent with fingerprints.
According to reports from the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Huard was warned ten days prior to Brooklyn’s death that Murphy was a danger to children and should not be left along with young children.
In July of last year, Ashley Tenney, the mother of an eight month old who was previously left along with Murphy, said her daughter was the first infant to suffer abuse at the hands of Murphy. Tenney’s daughter suffered seizures and was hospitalized after being left alone with Murphy. Her daughter was in the hospital for two days, consequently, doctors found medication in her system too, same medication that Murphy took for ADHD.
According to Tenney, her daughter’s incident prompted an investigation by DHHS and as part of a Safety Assessment and Planning contract signed by Huard, Kelli posed a danger to children and Huard was not to leave any in her care.
Christopher Filteau, a DHHS case worker, sent a letter to Huard in which he called her actions last year “High Severity Neglect.”
In a letter to Huard dated Aug. 10, 2012 the DHHS said: “You were responsible for Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway’s care on the night that she died. … Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway has died as a result of your neglect.”
The letter also questioned why Huard did not check on Brooklyn when she heard her screams.
Last year when the state’s Deputy Attorney General, William Stokes, was made aware of DHHS documents, he stated that the state’s burden of proof in a criminal case is higher than that of caseworkers who determine whether a home is safe for a child.
Huard was not charged in the death, which many question, why not? The baby was left in her care and she knew her daughter was not supposed to be left alone with a child.
I has been 25 years since someone as young a Murphy was charged with juvenile manslaughter, said police.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, said the state had two psychological examinations performed on Murphy, according to state statutes, it is the state’s responsibility to demonstrate that a juvenile is competent to stand trial until the child turns 14, at that point it becomes the responsibility of the defense.
Judge Charles LaVerdiere said there is a significant chance that Murphy will stand trial in the near future, but recommendations from the state prosecutor show she is not ready to stand trial now.
By: Veverly Edwards