11-Year-Old Charged With Manslaughter in Baby's Death

That's Criminal 32

handcuffsThe 10-year-old girl who was arrested earlier this year in connection with the death of 3-month-old baby girl Brooklyn Foss Greenaway has had a birthday. But the fact that Kelli Murphy is now 11 doesn't change anything in the eyes of the law. The state of Maine continued with its plan to charge the now 11-year-old with manslaughter today.

Someone has to pay for the death of an innocent baby. But is a manslaughter charge for an 11-year-old girl really the right way to do it?

Prosecutors haven't let many of the details of what happened to little Brooklyn out into the public, but we know the baby's grieving mom, Nikki Greenaway, left the 3-month-old with babysitter Amanda Huard -- Kelli's mom -- overnight in July. Cops say Huard left the baby in her 10-year-old daughter's room that night. The next morning, Brooklyn was dead.

The cause of death hasn't been made public, but Nikki has told the media that her little girl ingested medication and had been suffocated. And of course, now 11-year-old Kelli was indicted today on charges of juvenile manslaughter, which means prosecutors are saying she was somehow involved in the baby's death.

But here we have a little girl who -- it bears mentioning -- reportedly has behavioral issues. There is even rumor that the 11-year-old was involved in hurting another infant in the past. And she was left all night long in a room with a fussy infant?

That's hard enough for some adults to deal with. How often do you see Moms or Dads complaining that they got no sleep because of their baby? They're frustrated, exhausted ... and they're adults. Now imagine the same thing, only it's a child having to try to figure out how to deal with it. A child who is already challenged with behavioral issues.

As many -- from us here at The Stir to Nikki Greenaway -- have pointed out, it seems like Amanda Huard should be answering for this crime. She is the one who allegedly left a baby in another bedroom all night long when she was supposed to be the caregiver. Not to mention she left this baby with a child who had known issues.

We don't know why the prosecutors have neglected to charge Huard. But their decisions to go so hard after a young child is almost equally troubling. If convicted, this kid stands to spend a decade in a juvenile facility. She likely wouldn't be allowed out until the age of 21.

While I fully support punishing this child if she did indeed cause a baby's death, we are still talking about a child. A child with behavioral issues at that. A manslaughter charge sounds like a bunch of adults are putting too much pressure on a little girl.

Right now Kelli has to undergo a competency test, and she technically plead "no answer" to the charges. So it's all up in the air. Hopefully that means prosecutors will be thinking long and hard about who should take the brunt of the punishment in this case.

What do you think of this girl's manslaughter charge and the possible sentence? What would be more appropriate?


Image via petercastleton/Flickr

crime, death


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Randelle Pfost

So sick, and so terrible, for everyone involved. The girl's mother should most definitely be charged- 3 month olds should be checked on and fed every few hours, who would leave a newborn in a room all night without doing so? Everything about this tragedy is senseless.

fave82 fave82

I think the little shit and her mom should both be left out at sea. I think the child is soulless and there's no coming back for her and that the mother is just an idiot for leaving a baby in her care in the first place.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Charge them both. The girl is a sociopath with no soul and the mother is just an idiot. A ten-year-old knows better and knows right from wrong. So sad for the baby.

Eny2atl Eny2atl

Why should the mother be charged? Children share rooms with babies all the time. Not every parent can afford to give eavh child their own room. And yes, normally a newborn baby should be fed every few hours but at 3 months old she could have been sleeping through the night. Now if the child did in fact harm another infant in the past then of course that changes things.

mommy... mommy2annaliese

She has hurt another baby before. I dont feel bad for her at all. I wish she got worse!

nonmember avatar Lynn

She should be locked up for life. Or they could let her out so she can kill again?? I think every one that helps or causes death should be locked up for life if it wasnt self defense. You can't kill (or let people kill) just because. And in my opinion we need to use the death penalty more. We have all these horrible people in prison that will never get out and we pay for them year after year. Why do WE HAVE to take care of THEM? food clothes housing really? they dont care for others so why care for them? my heart hurts not!

nonmember avatar Lynn

Obviously not for killing children though. But older people definantly know better

ghost... ghostbaby

The mother of that sick little demon seed should be charged as well. Why the hell would she even babysit another persons child knowing her kid has hurt a baby before?

doodl... doodlebut

This was a ten year old child, not a30 year old psycho. her mother, the adult, should be charged and the little girl receive mental help. How can some of you say that this child who's only been breathing for 11 little years, should be locked away for life? I do think she should be punished, but she's practically a baby herself, and was left alone all night to care for a newborn when her mother knew she already had mental issues, and harmed a baby before. How is putting this child in jail until she's 21 going to help anyone? Her mental issues will only get worse, and then she'll be released into society. All the while the adult in this situation gets to walk around scott free without the responsibility of her daughter, and now doesn't have to deal with a child that has behavior issues, great deal for her mom, huh?

Beth McCormack Bernitt

This is so very sad. There are a lot of unknowns yet, the mother of Kelli, Amanda is the person responsible for this tragedy, with what was presented here. Kelli should have known better of course, but that is only one more example of Amanda' poor judgement where Kelli is concerned.

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