(AP) SKOWHEGAN, Maine - An 11-year-old girl charged with juvenile manslaughter in the July death of a 3-month-old baby entered a "no answer" plea Monday.
The girl bit her nails and looked down during the hearing in Maine. Her other plea choices were "admission" and "denial."
Three-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway was staying at the girl's home in the care of the girl's mother. The womanr called police July 8 to say the infant wasn't breathing. The state hasn't released the cause of death, but the baby's mother was told that her child ingested medication and was suffocated.
The state chose not to try the girl, then 10, as an adult. If convicted as a juvenile, the maximum penalty is incarceration until age 21.
The girl's lawyer, John Martin, said he felt the manslaughter charge was "too harsh" given the girl's age.
The judge on Monday ordered a competency evaluation for the girl.
The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services removed the girl from her mother's care. In a letter, an agency case worker said the girl had a behavior disorder that made her unsuitable for caring for the infant.
"They both need to go to jail," the infant's mother, Nicole "Nicki" Greenaway, told WZON radio before Monday's hearing. "The need to wake up every morning and look at those bars and realize what they did."
The accused girl didn't talk to reporters after the hearing.
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