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 (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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