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YOUNGSTOWN Mother sues over slaying of infant



Published: Thu, May 3, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The girl accused of killing the baby is not a defendant in the civil case.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The mother of a baby who was thrown from a window and then stabbed to death late last year is suing the caregivers of the girl who killed the child.

Dawn Mraz of Pine Hollow Drive is seeking unspecified damages in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court from D & amp;E Counseling Center of Youngstown and one of its doctors, William Fikter of Chagrin Falls.

Also named as defendants are the Mahoning County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Mahoning County Children Services, Mahoning County commissioners, the Youngstown Board of Education and Forum Health Tod Children's and Northside hospitals.

What happened: Mraz's infant son, Alex Zalovcik, was killed in December when 14-year-old Jackie Colon threw him from a second-floor window then went outside and stabbed him nearly 60 times.

He was less than 3 months old. Jackie has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial and is awaiting placement in a mental health residential facility.

Juvenile court officials have ruled she will be held for one year, after which she will be evaluated again for competency to stand trial.

Atty. Mark S. Colucci, representing Mraz, said Jackie was not named as a defendant because of her mental condition.

"Quite frankly, we feel that she's a victim too," Colucci said.

He said the court's ruling that she is incompetent for trial confirms his theory that "there was a total breakdown in the delivery of mental health services."

Dr. Harvey Kayne, clinical director at D & amp;E Counseling Center, said he had not seen the suit and declined to comment on it.

The suit says Mraz and Alex stayed at Jackie's home on Roxbury Drive the night before the attack. Mraz and Jackie's sister, Jessica Colon, were friends.

How baby died: Alex was asleep next to his mother when Jackie Colon came into the room during the early-morning hours and took him out of the baby carrier where he was sleeping.

When the baby began to cry, Jackie threw him out a window onto a cement driveway below, the suit says.

As the girl was getting ready for school, she noticed that the baby was still alive, so she stabbed him 56 times in the head, back, stomach and chest, the suit says.

The suit says the county agencies, the school district and Forum Health were negligent in not recognizing Jackie's mental condition and reporting it to appropriate agencies or authorities.




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