March 29, 2013

11-year-old alleged baby killer not competent for trial – for now

By Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

and Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway

Contributed photo

Greenaway has said she was told that her daughter died from suffocation and trace amounts of a prescription medication in her system that matched medication Murphy was taking at the time.

Criminal proceedings in the case have been suspended since late October, when a competency evaluation was ordered.

Under state law, a juvenile who is found incompetent to proceed at trial can be re-evaluated at specified intervals. Once a year has passed from the suspension of proceedings, the state must prove by "clear and convincing evidence there exists a substantial probability that the juvenile will be competent in the foreseeable future."

Stokes said the judge's language indicating that Murphy could be competent in the future triggers what happens next.

If there's a "substantial probability" that a juvenile will be competent in the near future, the Juvenile Court will continue to suspend the criminal case.

Stokes said the state's goal is not to confine the girl, but to "get her to the point she needs to be to be a functioning member of society."

The DHHS issued a notice to Huard on Aug. 10, saying its review showed that Huard had neglected the 3-month-old who was left in her care.

The notice also says Huard knew that Murphy, who was then 10 years old, should not be baby-sitting children but Huard continued to allow her to do so. The notice did not explain why the girl should not have been baby-sitting.

Huard has not been charged. Stokes has said that Huard was not charged because prosecutors have a higher burden of proof in a criminal case than DHHS caseworkers have.

According to the notice, Murphy suffers from significant behavioral problems and Huard failed to follow through on the required treatment, including ensuring that the girl was taking medication for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and attachment disorder.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

dharlow@centralmaine.com

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

badams@centralmaine.com 

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