Madison County

Teen accused of murder in smothering death of baby sister

A 17-year-old Madison County girl has been indicted for murder in the death of her 9-month old sister, authorities said.

The indictment alleges that Jessica Marcum smothered Bell Rose Marcum in June, according to the Richmond Register newspaper. The child was the daughter of Donnie and Kathy Marcum, according to the newspaper.

Juvenile offender's names normally are not made public, but Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Smith said Thursday that a judge moved the case to circuit court so the defendant could be tried as an adult. She initially was charged as a juvenile.

"She was bound over to the grand jury out of the district court as a youthful offender," Smith said. "There is a process where a hearing has to be held in juvenile court where a judge makes a determination that she and the case meet criteria that allow her to be treated as an adult. That's what happened here."

No motive in the case has been made public, Smith said.