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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Mother not fit for child abuse trial

September 12, 2008|Jack Leonard

A woman accused of starving her baby to death at a skid row shelter last year is not competent to stand trial, a Los Angeles County judge ruled Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Frederick N. Wapner ordered that Ranetta Maxwell, 33, be held at Patton State Hospital, a mental facility near San Bernardino, said district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison.

Maxwell, who has been charged with one count of child abuse involving the death of her 7-week-old daughter, will undergo periodic court reviews to determine whether she is competent to stand trial in the future, Robison said.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty.

Her daughter, Jasmine, was found dead a day after a county children's social worker visited her at the Union Rescue Mission. An autopsy report said she weighed only 4 pounds when she died.

-- Jack Leonard

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