DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit woman charged with fatally stabbing her daughter three days before the child’s ninth birthday pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Thursday as authorities scrambled to determine why the girl and four siblings were not removed from their home weeks ago.
Police responding to a call from neighbors found Tameria Greene bleeding from the chest Sunday on the floor of her family’s apartment. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The Michigan Department of Human Services said it tried to remove Tameria and her siblings from the home as far back as 2010, but its requests were denied. The most recent petition was filed the day after Thanksgiving, alleging Semeria Greene, 26, had abused her daughter, who had bites on her hand, forearm and face.
“DHS continued to provide court-ordered counseling services to the family as well as conducting in-home visits, the last of which occurred only two days before Tameria’s death. We share the grief felt by her loved ones and her community,” director Maura Corrigan said in a statement.
Richard Smart III, a referee in the Family Division of Wayne County court, held a hearing on Nov. 23 that lasted just minutes. He recommended no removal and noted that the father of some of Tameria’s siblings had moved into the home “to provide protection and supervision,” according to records. Judge Lisa Neilson signed the order.
Five days later, another referee, Leslie Graves, held a pretrial hearing. She set a trial on the state’s petition and noted the children remained at home. Judge Frank Szymanski signed that order.
Szymanski told The Associated Press that he had no direct role in the Greene case but was deeply troubled by the girl’s death.
“I just looked at the file. … I want to get to the bottom of this. I’m concerned, absolutely,” he said. “I need to see the transcript. We remove kids all the time.”
Referees preside over hearings in Michigan’s local Juvenile Courts and make recommendations in abuse and neglect cases. Like full-fledged judges, they are attorneys. Judges, however, retain the right to intervene.
Graves declined to comment, as did Thomasine Jefferson, an attorney who represented Greene in the child-welfare matter. Messages seeking comment were left with Smart and Neilson.
Greene remains in jail without bail on the felony murder charge, which is the equivalent of first-degree murder. She faces life in prison without parole if convicted. She also is charged with first-degree child abuse.
Defense attorney Cornelius Pitts suggested Greene should undergo a mental-health exam. Magistrate Steve Lockhart said the issue could be raised at the next hearing, on Jan. 16.
“It would appear there is a serious question to the emotional and mental state,” Pitts told reporters.
Tameria’s brothers, ages 1 to 7, now are in foster care.
Her death came at the end of a particularly brutal year in Detroit. By Thanksgiving, the city had surpassed the 344 criminal homicides reported in all of 2011. Mayor Dave Bing said there were 386 slayings in 2012.
“We’ve lost respect for each other. We’ve lost respect for life,” Bing said Thursday.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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