August 31, 2012

Ten-year-old charged in baby's death

The girl is the youngest child to be charged with manslaughter in the state over the past 25 years.

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FAIRFIELD – A 10-year-old girl was charged with manslaughter Thursday in the death of a 3-month-old baby from Clinton last month.

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Nicole Greenaway holds a picture of her daughter, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, at her home in Clinton. Her 3-month-old baby died while in the care of a friend July 8.

Photos by Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

click image to enlarge

The Huard residence on Route 139 in Fairfield.

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Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway died on July 8 while being baby-sat overnight at a home in Fairfield.

Police did not identify the 10-year-old. She is in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Department of Public Safety. She is scheduled to appear in Skowhegan District Court on Oct. 22.

"She's the youngest child to be charged with manslaughter that I am aware of over the past 25 years," said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

McCausland would not say whether any other charges will be filed in the case.

Nicole Greenaway of Clinton, Brooklyn's mother, said she left Brooklyn for an overnight stay on July 7 with Amanda Huard at 330 Center Road in Fairfield. The two women work at Elmwood Primary Care in Waterville.

Greenaway said Huard called her at 1:46 a.m. on July 8 to tell her to go to the hospital because Brooklyn had been found not breathing.

By the time Greenaway arrived at the hospital, Brooklyn was dead, she said.

"I was there for three hours," she said. "They wouldn't let me see her. They didn't tell me at the time, but it was because of the condition that she was in. Her face was very beat up and bruised."

Greenaway said she has photos that she took at the funeral home, showing bruises on the baby's face.

Greenaway said she was told by Maine State Police that an autopsy showed Brooklyn died from suffocation and the bruises on her face were related to the suffocation.

She said she also was told that traces of a type of medication prescribed to the 10-year-old were found in the baby's system.

She said investigators interviewed her at the hospital for about two hours that night, during which she explained the baby-sitting arrangements she had made with Huard.

Greenaway said Huard and the 10-year-old left the hospital before she did, and did not tell her what had happened to Brooklyn.

Greenaway told The Associated Press that the 10-year-old had changed her baby's diaper in the past, but Greenaway had told the baby-sitter that an adult needed to be present at all times.

Instead, the infant was sleeping in a portable crib in the same room as the 10-year-old, Greenaway told the AP. Police did not release details of the baby's death, which was ruled a homicide Wednesday.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said a court summons had been issued to the 10-year-old and a juvenile petition -- the legal document that officially brings a juvenile case into court -- will be filed shortly. He said once the petition is filed, more information will be released.

Some details of the night's events were provided to the Morning Sentinel by Ashley Tenney, 20, who said she was living in the basement of the home on the night Brooklyn died.

Tenney said she and Huard were downstairs while the 10-year-old was upstairs in her bedroom with the baby.

The 10-year-old brought the baby downstairs crying at one point, Tenney said, but nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

"Brooklyn was crying a little, but nothing that concerned anybody," Tenney said. "(The 10-year-old) went upstairs and came down without her and said, 'She's sleeping.' "

Tenney said she went to sleep in the basement about 11 p.m. and was awakened about 1:30 a.m. "I heard crying and running up and down the stairs," she said. Tenney said she heard someone say "dead."

She said she saw Huard and Huard's boyfriend and that he was holding Brooklyn and Huard was crying.

Huard called police at 1:34 a.m. on July 8, saying the baby wasn't breathing, state police Sgt. Jason Richards said in July.

Emergency responders arrived six minutes later and the baby was pronounced dead later that morning at MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer Campus in Waterville, Richards said.

Brooklyn was born April 4, weighing 9 pounds, 2.8 ounces.

"The stage where she was at, there was a lot of smiling and cooing and giggling," her mother said. "She wasn't fussy."

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Michael Shepherd and Portland Press Herald Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers contributed to this report.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be contacted at 861-9287 or at:

mhhetling@centralmaine.com

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