March 16, 2013

Judge issues no ruling in baby manslaughter case

By BETTY ADAMS Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Andrew Benson, assistant attorney general, speaks with media outside the courtroom at Skowhegan District Court Friday morning after a closed hearing in the Kelli Murphy manslaughter case. The hearing ended without a ruling being issued as to whether Murphy is competent to stand trial for manslaughter.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

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Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway

Contributed photo

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Greenaway said the judge's decision to close the hearing left questions in her mind about the way the justice system is operating.

"I don't think it should be closed because this is one way that the public would know that the justice system is actually working," she said.

She said she expected to hear about the outcome of the hearing later from the Attorney General's Office.

The DHHS issued a notice to Huard on Aug. 10 saying its review of the death showed that she neglected the 3-month-old who was left in her care. Huard has not been charged in the case.

According to the notice, Murphy suffers from significant behavioral problems, and the department contends that 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.

The notice also says that Huard knew Murphy, who was then 10 years old, should not be babysitting children but Huard let her do so.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes has said that Huard was not charged after the assessment by the DHHS because prosecutors have a higher burden of proof in a criminal case than caseworkers have.

-- Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Matt Hongoltz-Hetling contributed to this report

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Additional Photos

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An unidentified man shields Amanda Huard with a striped umbrella as she enters Skowhegan District Court Friday on a sunny morning. Huard is the mother of Kelli Murphy, the 11-year-old charged with manslaughter in the death of an infant last year.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

The Skowhegan District Court building, where the closed competency hearing for Kelli Murphy, of Fairfield, was Friday morning. A Morning Sentinel news photographer was additionally excluded from the building by a court official who said it was their policy to not allow photography in the hallways.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

 


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