SKOWHEGAN — A judge approved recommendations by state prosecutors this week that an 11-year-old Fairfield girl charged with manslaughter of an infant is not yet ready to stand trial.

There is a substantial probability that the girl, Kelli Murphy, will be competent to face the charge in the foreseeable future, said Judge Charles LaVerdiere in an order released Friday in Skowhegan District Court.

LaVerdiere said state forensic examiners will re-examine Murphy’s competence in six months. In the meantime, court-ordered restrictions on where she is allowed to travel and whom she is allowed to visit will remain unchanged and no new court hearings on competence will be scheduled.

Murphy’s lawyer, John Martin, of Skowhegan, said he could not discuss the conditions of release or if Murphy is still in the custody of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

“I believe the order is warranted,” Martin said Friday afternoon. “The case is where it should be, as it stands right now.”

A report from the State Forensic Service, which is part of the DHHS, will be submitted to the court after six months and both the defense and prosecution may make requests to the court or file motions then.

LaVerdiere ruled in March that Murphy was not competent to face charges under the standard established by the Maine Juvenile Code, but could be in the future.

Murphy is charged with manslaughter in the July 8 death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, of Clinton, who died while staying overnight at the home of Amanda Huard, Murphy’s mother.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said state forensics investigators have done two psychological examinations on Murphy, but he would not discuss the results.

The court has impounded the report of the forensics examiner. LaVerdiere said the reports’ findings will remain sealed because they contain confidential mental health information pertinent only to the question of the girl’s competence to stand trial.

Murphy is the youngest person in the state to be charged with manslaughter in at least 25 years, police have said.

Benson said it is the state’s responsibility by statute to show that a juvenile is competent to stand trial until the child turns 14. After that, Benson said, it is the burden of the defense attorneys to show the court that the child is prepared or not prepared to face charges.

Competence still has to be established, he said.

Huard called 911 the night of July 8 to report that the baby was not breathing. The infant’s mother, Nicole Greenaway, said she was told that her daughter died from suffocation and trace amounts of a prescription medication in her system that matched medication Murphy, then 10 years old, was taking. The infant was in a bedroom with Murphy at the time.

Efforts to reach Huard, Murphy’s mother, and Greenaway, the infant’s mother, were unsuccessful.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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