DETROIT (AP) — A 26-year-old Detroit mother of five was scheduled for her first court appearance Thursday afternoon on a murder charge in the stabbing death of her 8-year-old daughter.
Tameria Greene, who would have turned 9 on Wednesday, was found bleeding early Sunday on the floor of the family's apartment. Her mother, Semeria Greene, was arrested and her four sons were taken into protective custody.
Greene was due to be arraigned on felony murder and child abuse charges. She did not have an attorney listed in court records.
Michigan's human service director Maura Corrigan said family, friends and neighbors had complained to her agency about Greene's treatment of her five children. Corrigan said child welfare workers had tried repeatedly to remove them from Greene's care in the past two years.
Corrigan says a court denied the last request one month before Tameria's death.
Judge Frank Szymanski told The Associated Press on Thursday morning that he signed an order in November that ordered services but kept the children in the home. He said his order reflected the result of a hearing held by a referee and he had no active role in the case at that time. That's standard procedure in such cases, the judge said.
"I want to get to the bottom of this. I'm concerned, absolutely," Szymanski said
Tameria's 7-, 4-, 2- and 1-year-old brothers now are in foster care.
The girl's slaying 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. On Thursday, the city reported 386 slayings for 2012.
A conviction on the murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole. The child abuse charge carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. A motive for the stabbing was not clear.