AN 11-year-old US girl charged with juvenile manslaughter in the death of a three-month-old baby has entered a “no answer” plea.
The girl bit her nails and looked down during the hearing in Maine on Monday. Her other plea choices were “admission” and “denial”.
Three-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway was staying at the girl’s home in the care of the girl’s mother. The mother called police on July 8 to say the infant wasn’t breathing.
The state hasn’t released the cause of death, but the infant’s mother, Nicole “Nicki” Greenaway, was told that her child ingested medication and was suffocated.
The state chose not to try the girl as an adult. If convicted as a juvenile, the maximum penalty is incarceration until age 21.
The girl’s lawyer, John Martin, said he felt the manslaughter charge was “too harsh” given the girl’s age.
The judge on Monday ordered a competency evaluation for the girl.
The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services removed the girl from her mother’s care. In a letter, an agency case worker said the girl had a behaviour disorder that made her unsuitable for caring for the infant.