A 10-year-old girl accused of stomping a baby boy to death in a Wisconsin daycare was found incompetent to stand trial earlier this month.
WAOW 9 reports that the little girl, referred to as A.F., walked handcuffed into a Chippewa County courtroom on March 5, where her defense team called witnesses to the stand to explain why the girl was incompetent to proceed with trial. During the three-hour court hearing, the young girl paid more attention to coloring in a unicorn coloring book than she did to what the adults were saying about her.
Dr. Deborah Collins, the Director of the Wisconsin Forensic Unit, testified that she met A.F. in February. After spending time with her, Collins said she felt the girl suffered from a number of mental disorders and illnesses, including PTSD, adjustment disorder with depression, disruptive mood, and dysregulation disorder. Collins testified that A.F. never had a consistent education and was exposed to trauma throughout her young life.
Dr. Michael Caldwell, a senior staff psychologist at Mendota Mental Health Institute, agreed with most of Dr. Collins’ findings. However, while Collins said the child would likely gain competency with the right environment, Caldwell said it was “extremely unlikely” that A.J. would be competent within a year, given that she thinks like a 7-year-old and had an inconsistent education.
Judge James Peterson ruled the girl incompetent to stand trial at present, but said he felt there’s a chance the little girl could gain competency. She’ll need to return to court on July 3 for a competency review hearing.
In the meantime, A.F. has been placed into the care of the Department of Health Services (DHS) for a period not to exceed a year. DHS will be responsible for the determining where A.F. will get treatment and where she’ll take school courses.
AsCrimeOnline previously reported, the incident in question occurred at a Tilden licensed daycare at 12096 102nd Ave., where A.F. allegedly stomped on the head of infant boy, Jaxon Liedl, killing him.
When authorities arrived to the daycare, they rushed the baby to St. Joseph’s Hospital. His condition was so severe that he was flown to St. Paul Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A physician at the hospital later contacted authorities and explained that the infant’s injuries didn’t appear to be accidental. The physician also said “force required (to cause the injuries) could be generated by a 10-year-old girl,” and that “the manner of death was homicidal action.”
“Later that afternoon the sheriff’s department received a call from medical personnel, a doctor, attending this youth and indicated that his belief was that the injuries sustained by the six-month boy was not an accident,” Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said, according to NBC 6.
According to an complaint, the infant had “bilateral skull fractures and bilateral subdural hematoma.”
“A tread pattern on (the girl’s) shoes appeared to match the patterned bruising on the head of the victim,” the complaint also read.
The little girl admitted that she dropped Jaxon, and according to the complaint, she claimed when the baby hit his head on a stool, she started stomping on his head with her feet. She reportedly said she then put him back in his crib and went outside to play with the other children.
Authorities interviewed daycare provider Amber Sweeney, who said she put Jaxon down for a nap at around 3 p.m. that afternoon. She said the 10-year-old and two 6-year-olds who attend the daycare, arrived from school and played outside while the infant slept.
Sweeney admitted that the children, which also included two 2-year-olds, were in and out of the house for “short periods” while the baby slept. She also said she spotted the 10-year-old sitting by herself close to a bay window in the kitchen on the day in question.
Jaxon’s father, Nate Liedl, showed up at the girl’s court hearing in 2018 to ensure she “saw his face” and understood the depth of the pain created when the baby passed away.
“As opposed to seeing it as a 10-year-old girl, I saw it as the person who killed my son. And she, in my opinion, deserved to be in shackles or handcuffs. She’s a criminal,” Leidl, who fought for custody of Jaxon for the three months of the baby’s life, told ABC7. “I waited 37 years for my own little baby boy. I was extremely lucky because he didn’t cry, no fussing, he was happy smiles all the time,”
Liedl said after he heard his son was injured, he initially thought the baby would be OK, but then he got the news that Jaxon had taken a turn for the worst.
“They had mentioned what are we going to do if his heart stops, and it caught me completely off guard. I had sent a couple messages out to family to let them know that Jaxon’s not going to make it. I remember, I broke down out there pretty bad. Yeah, it really hit hard.”
Liedl also explained that he didn’t blame the daycare for the incident. The suspect, a foster child, reportedly lived with the family that operated the daycare.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.