An Irish American ten-year-old girl, Kelli Murphy, is facing reckless or criminally negligent manslaughter juvenile offence charges following in the wake of the death of three-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway in July.
The Daily Mail reports on the terrible and tragic death of young Brooklyn. An autopsy found that the newborn had large quantities of prescription medication in her system, the same used by Murphy to control her ADHD.
While no specific details from the juvenile petition, including Brooklyn’s official cause of death, have been released, Brooklyn’s mother Nicki Greenaway, claims to have been told she was suffocated.
Greenaway said that when she saw her daughter at the funeral home, the deceased child had a black eye and bruises on her face, as well as markings that looked like fingerprints on her cheeks.
Murphy is the youngest person in 25 years to be faced with such charges in the state of Maine.
On July 7th, Nicki Greenaway dropped off her daughter Brooklyn as well as her 2-year-old with Kelli Murphy’s mother Amanda Huard for an overnight stay.
The Portland Press reports that despite knowing that Kelli had been identified as a danger to children, according to documents from the DHHS, Kelli’s mother left her 10-year-old alone to watch the children. Brooklyn was found dead the next morning.
DHHS documents said that 10-year-old Murphy suffers from behavioral problems, including oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attachment disorder. Huard did not give Murphy her medication as required, the caseworker said.
While Huard isn’t facing charges herself, Greenaway reportedly holds her accountable for her daughter’s death. Similarly, the caseworker for the department's Office of Child and Family Services held Huard responsible for the baby's death.
Deputy Attorney General William Stokes 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 a caseworker does.
Huard has not offered any comment in regards to the case, but did post on status on Facebook on the day of Brooklyn’s death: “"I feel like I'm living in a nightmare right now. ... I don't know how I'm supposed to move on from this. I just wish it could have been prevented."
Murphy will not be tried as an adult, and thus will not receive a jury trial. Instead, a juvenile judge will make the final determination about Murphy’s future.
"The whole focus of the juvenile justice system and juvenile code is to provide treatment and care and be able to deal with the conduct recognizing the juvenile is a child," Deputy Attorney General Stokes said. "The system is designed not to look at the punitive side of things."
Prosecutors are not alleging that Murphy intended to kill young Brooklyn.
Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, who filed the petition, said that juveniles face different courses of action than adults in regards to the results of the trial. For juveniles, sentencing can include commitments to the Department of Corrections Juvenile Division or the DHHS, or suspended sentences.
Ashley Tenney, who lived at Huard's house this summer, has said that her daughter, then 8 months old, almost died from medication in her system that was the same as medication taken by the 10-year-old.