SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The state's highest court ruled Tuesday that an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly kicked and beaten with a baseball bat could be taken off life support. The move could lead to murder charges against her stepfather.

State officials had asked that Haleigh Poutre's ventilator and feeding tube be withdrawn after doctors said she was in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

Her stepfather, who is already charged with beating the girl, fought the move, but the Supreme Judicial Court ruled against him.