Janishcia Cottingham: Mother incompetent to stand trial for daughter's murder, judge rules

Police say she smothered 16-month-old

CINCINNATI -- A North Fairmount woman charged with killing her 16-month-old daughter is incompetent to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Janishcia Cottingham, 23, was charged with aggravated murder in the August death of her daughter, Robin Cottingham. The coroner ruled that Robin had been smothered.

The child was home alone when police found her dead in Cottingham's apartment in the 3200 block of Bowling Green Court at 1:16 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.

Three weeks before Robin died, her mother and father, Robert Midell, went to Hamilton County Job and Family Services to seek help in raising Robin.

Midell said he took custody of Robin for a time while Cottingham underwent a psychological evaluation. After Cottingham passed her test, Midell said he gave Robin back to her because he had too much going on in his life.

JFS director Moira Weir said her agency never took custody of Robin and never saw any indication that the child was abused or neglected.

Weir said JFS was still in the assessment stage of Robin's case when she died.

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