Attorney argues woman not sane at infant’s slaying

A Zachary woman accused in the April killing of her 2-month-old son was insane at the time, her attorney said Tuesday.

Sabrina Maiden, 22, was arrested April 10 and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a first-degree murder count in the death of Prince Javeion Deshaun Brown, but she has not been formally charged by prosecutors or indicted by a grand jury. She remains jailed.

“We’re probably going to change our plea at some point,” said Margaret Lagattuta, who represents Maiden, to state District Judge Chip Moore during a brief hearing Tuesday in the case. Maiden was dressed in dark green East Baton Rouge Parish Prison clothes.

Asked afterward what she meant by a change of plea, Lagattuta said she expects Maiden at some point to enter a dual plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

“Clearly from the facts we know, she was not sane at the time,” Lagattuta said outside the courtroom.

Maiden has been on medication for schizophrenia, she said.

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office is awaiting a determination on whether Maiden is competent to assist her attorneys before a grand jury date is scheduled.

“This is a difficult case which involves mental health,” he said.

Judge Moore on April 16 appointed a sanity commission to evaluate Maiden, and on May 10, she was found incompetent to stand trial.

At an Oct. 17 sanity hearing, it was determined Maiden still lacked the mental capacity to understand the proceedings against her or to assist in her defense.

Late last year, a doctor at the state hospital in Jackson reported Maiden is now competent to proceed.

On Tuesday, Lagattuta requested that Judge Moore order the sanity commission to examine Maiden again. The judge did so and said he wants their reports by March 13. He scheduled a sanity hearing for April 3.

Sheriff’s deputies found Javeion — the son of Maiden and Willie Brown Jr., 32 — about 10 a.m. April 10 in an area of shallow water in a field near their East Mount Pleasant Road home in Zachary after searching an area between U.S. 61 and La. 964 for about eight hours, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks has said.

The search began after relatives of the missing infant called the Sheriff’s Office, Hicks said.

The call followed a fight between Maiden and Brown at the couple’s home in the 1200 block of East Mount Pleasant Road.

During the fight, Hicks said, Maiden left the home unclothed, walking away with the child. Maiden was found without the infant two hours later about a quarter-mile from her home in the 21500 block of Barsket Road.

The mother had multiple scratches and had been combative with a nearby resident, Hicks said.

Final autopsy results show Javeion died from blunt force trauma to the head, parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said in May.

The child suffered a traumatic brain injury and also injuries to his limbs, Clark said. The infant’s death is considered a homicide, he said.

Brown was arrested and booked into Parish Prison on various weapon and drug charges after deputies found guns and drugs inside the couple’s home while the search for their child was ongoing. Brown is free on bond, the district attorney said.