February 22, 2016 / 4:12 PM / 2 years ago

Maryland woman who put toddler in swing until he died faces trial

(Reuters) - A Maryland woman charged with pushing her toddler in a park swing until he died faces trial on Monday, with a court-appointed psychologist reported to have found she suffered from schizophrenia and was not responsible for her actions.

Police said they found the woman, Romechia Simms of La Plata, pushing her dead son, Ji’Aire Lee, 3, in a swing last May. The child had been in it for some 40 hours and died of hypothermia and dehydration.

Simms, 25, is being tried in Charles County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree child abuse, manslaughter and child neglect.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that court-appointed psychologist Teresa Grant of the Maryland Office of Forensic Services had found Simms lacked “substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of her conduct or to conform her behavior to meet the requirements of the law.”

Finding a defendant not criminally responsible is Maryland’s equivalent of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Grant said Simms was not a danger and should be allowed to remain in the community, the Post said. Grant could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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