Teen deemed incompetent for trial in infant's killing

CROWN POINT — A judge has ruled that a 17-year-old Gary girl accused of killing a toddler left in her care can remain jailed in northwest Indiana until she’s transferred to a mental health facility in Indianapolis.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Natalie Bokota granted the teen permission Tuesday to remain incarcerated in a medical wing of the Lake County Jail until her she's moved to Indianapolis.

Bokota had ruled in June that the girl lacks sufficient comprehension to assist in her own defense for allegedly killing 7-month-old Darius Whitley in March at a Gary apartment building.

The judge said two mental health professionals who evaluated her concluded she has a childlike demeanor and low intellectual abilities.

The teen, who is charged with murder, has pleaded not guilty in the boy's killing, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

According to court records, relatives her alone to care for the baby on March 8 while they went out for about an hour.

Court records say the teen later called 911 and said at least five times, “I killed baby, take me to jail."

Police found the injured boy and rushed him to a hospital, but he did not survive.

The teen's defense attorney, Kerry Connor, said she is scheduled to be transferred to an Indianapolis mental health facility in about a week.




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