Kelli Murphy, 10-Year-Old Charged With Manslaughter, Previously Hurt Another Infant

Labeled A Danger to Children by DHHS

The 10-year-old girl accused of accidentally killing a 3-month old baby girl has been formally named by the court and the media. Kelli Murphy, 10, has a history of harming small children, with former housemates coming forward to tell their own story of abuse by Murphy.

Ashley Tenney and Chad Hopkins lived with Murphy and her mother, Amanda Huard, earlier this year. They had to leave the home and entrusted 10-year old Murphy to babysit, given that she had shown a "healthy interest" in 10-month-old baby Jaylynn.

When the couple arrived home, however, Jaylynn was pale, "whiter than a sheet of paper, and soaked in sweat, just drenched," Tenney told The Main Sunday Telegram. She and Hopkins immediately took Jaylynn to the hospital, but doctors were unable to determine what was wrong.

On the way to the hospital, Jaylynn began having convulsions.

"She was on her father's lap and her head just dropped back, and she rapidly started shaking. If her head went to the left, her arm went to the right, and vice versa. Her heart rate was high and they were worried and didn't know what to do for her," Tenney said.

Once she was transferred to another hospital, doctors were able to conclude that Jaylynn had ingested the medication taken by Murphy to help control her ADHD. Jaylynn "should have been dead," Tenney added, given the amount of drugs that were found in her system.

The DHHS Office of Child and Family Services followed up with Tenney, Hopkins, and Huard, according to police. They were told that Murphy should not be allowed to be alone with children, but three weeks later, 3-month old Brooklyn was left in her care and died as a result. Authorities again found Murphy's drugs in the baby's system.

Now Murphy is being held and will be tried as a juvenile; a judge alone will decide Murphy's fate as to whether she should be held or released.

"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. The system is designed not to look at the punitive side of things," District Attorney General William Stokes told The Portland Press Herald.

One of the saddest facts of the case is that Murphy had been labeled as a danger to children, according to the DHHS. She suffered from behavioral problems, including attachment disorder, defiant disorder, and ADHD. Her mother was aware of this when she allowed her to babysit not once, but twice.

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