A 14-year-old girl was found incompetent at this time to stand trial for manslaughter in the death of her 1-year-old sister in a downtown Minneapolis shelter last summer and is living under court-ordered child protection with a relative in St. Paul, court records say.
Child protection records obtained this week by the Star Tribune also reveal that police believe Emoni McGrone was suffocated by the teen on Aug. 23 at the family's People Serving People apartment and died the next day.
Emoni was the youngest of 82 homicide victims in Minneapolis in 2022, according to a Star Tribune database.
The county filed a child protection petition in late October, about four weeks after a court-ordered psychological assessment found the teen was incompetent, for now, to stand trial because she lacks the maturity and intellect to properly understand and participate in her own defense.
The court agreed with the findings and the teenager was released from the Juvenile Detention Center. She was placed with the relative on Nov. 2. A progress report is due in May to determine next steps. In the meantime, she has regular visits with her mother, according to the case file.
While the teen has been deemed incompetent to stand trial at this time, the charges against her remain as she receives mental health treatment that could lead to the court deciding she is competent and the case against her can proceed.
A filing by a county caseworker two weeks after the foster placement began pointed out that the relative reported "things are going well with [the teen], and she is connected at school."
Minnesota juvenile criminal court records are accessible to the public only if the offense is a felony and the youth is at least 16 years old. However, details of how the girl allegedly killed Emoni were included in the child protection order and based on the sealed first-degree manslaughter charges filed in juvenile court. They include:
Police arrived at the People Serving People site at Portland Avenue and S. 3rd Street on the night of Aug. 23 on a report of a baby not breathing. Officers found the teen in a hallway with Emoni, who was unresponsive. Emoni was declared dead the next day at HCMC.
A police investigation concluded that the teen "caused the death of [Emoni] while she was maliciously punishing and/or assaulting [the child]. A witness stated that the [teen] put her hand over [Emoni's] mouth and held it there until the baby stopped crying and moving."
The teen confessed to numerous people that she suffocated Emoni, leading to her arrest and incarceration in the Juvenile Detention Center.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said this week that it has yet to determine the cause or manner of the toddler's death.
A search warrant affidavit filed on the night Emoni stopped breathing disclosed that police went into the family's apartment at the shelter and seized two bags of "suspected narcotics," a mattress cover and bedsheets, a pillow and liquid in a bottle from a bed.