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Ohio girl suspected in baby’s death to be evaluated again

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An 11-year-old Cleveland-area girl suspected in the murder of a 2-month-old infant will undergo a third evaluation before a judge has a competency hearing for her.

The hearing in juvenile court has been pushed back to July 9 because attorneys for the defendant and her mother requested the additional competency evaluation, The (Willoughby) News-Herald (http://bit.ly/1SBLUAd ) reported.

The girl’s public defender initially sought a competency evaluation because he said he wasn’t sure she understood the nature of the court proceedings and had the ability to help in her defense.

Police say the infant, Zuri Whitehead, was severely beaten in early February while staying at a suburban Wickliffe home with the girl and her mother, who is friends with the baby’s mother.

The Cuyahoga County medical examiner found that Zuri had injuries to her head, neck, body, arms and legs. She died in surgery, and the medical examiner ruled it a homicide.

Zuri’s mother, Trina Whitehead, has said it was the girl who asked that the baby stay overnight. The woman said she never previously saw anything in the girl’s behavior that concerned her.

An official from the Lake County children and family services agency has said they never had a case concerning the 11-year-old and her mother.

The Associated Press is not naming the girl or her mother because of the defendant’s age.

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Information from: The News-Herald, http://www.news-herald.com/jrc-html/index/index_p33.html

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