Posted Aug 31, 2012 05:43 pm CDT
A 10-year-old girl who has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a 3-month-old baby may be the youngest child to face a manslaughter case in Maine history and is almost undoubtedly the first to do so in at least 25 years, authorities said.
The case against the unidentified child, who was charged Thursday concerning the baby’s death last month, will be pursued in juvenile court. If convicted, she could be held in juvenile detention until she is 21, the Kennebec Journal reports.
“I don’t remember a case like this, at least not during my tenure,” prosecutor Bill Stokes told the newspaper. Stokes is a deputy attorney general who serves as chief of the state’s criminal division and has been a prosecutor for 35 years.
Nearly 20 years ago, a 10-year-old girl admitted to she set a Biddeford tenement building on fire, which caused the death of a 2-year-old girl. Officials reportedly considered a homicide case, but instead charged the 10-year-old with three arson counts.
Nicole “Nicki” Greenaway is the mother of the dead infant. She said the 10-year-old is the daughter of a woman who was baby-sitting her child overnight. She also said authorities told her the baby had been given a drug used to treat attention-deficit disorder and suffocated, and contended she had seen bruises on the baby at the funeral home, the Associated Press reports.
Authorities were called July 8 by the sitter, who said the baby was not breathing.
Greenaway described feeling “a little bit of relief” that the 10-year-old is being charged, but added “the mom really needs to be responsible. She’s the one I left my daughter with.”
The girl’s lawyer, John Martin, said she is not being held in juvenile detention and has been issued a summons to appear Oct. 22 at Skowhegan District Court, another Kennebec Journal article reports.