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Woman incompetent in freezing death

Woman incompetent in freezing death Click to Enlarge Photo: Stockbyte, Photos.com

Aug 19, 2014 at 4:50 am

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — A Bemidji woman who allegedly allowed her 6-year-old cousin to freeze to death has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Twenty-two-year-old Rachel Stacey Downer was charged with manslaughter in the death of Mercedes Mayfield, who was found curled up on the front step of a Bemidji apartment building on a subzero morning in February. Downer was going to take her cousin home to baby-sit that night, but told police she changed her mind and thought Mercedes then went back inside. She didn't tell the girl's mother.

Beltrami County Attorney Tim Faver says neither side disputed a psychologist's report during a hearing Monday. He says an initial commitment hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. He says he hopes the case can move forward to a conclusion if she's eventually restored to competency.

Mike Tanner

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