Mental health evaluation ordered for mother charged with drowning 6-year-old daughter


A judge has ordered a mental health evaluation for the 25-year-old St. Paul mother charged with drowning her 6-year-old daughter in a bathtub Tuesday. Kayla Marie Jones told police she drowned her daughter Azaria to "save her from this world."

Jones appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and was charged with second-degree murder. The evaluation will help determine if Jones is mentally competent to stand trial. The Associated Press reports Jones could face up to 40 years if convicted.

Jones told police she believed her daughter was abused by her boyfriend; however, the Ramsey County attorney's office says there's no immediate indication the abuse allegations are true, the Associated Press reports.

The cause of death was ruled a drowning, and authorities say there were signs of struggle.

According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul police went to Jones’ apartment in the 1500 block of Maynard Avenue shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday on a report that a girl had drowned in a bathtub. The caller told police over the phone the mother of the girl had drowned the child on purpose, according to FOX9.

When police arrived, they found Jones standing outside; her clothes were soaking wet.

The girl, who was unresponsive, was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

KARE-11 states Jones told investigators she was molested as a child.

Jones' bail is set at $2 million, and she was granted a public defender. She is set to appear again in court on Jan. 7.

A memorial was set up for Azaria outside of her home.

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