A woman no longer faces a murder charge in the beating death of the 6-year-old girl she and her live-in lover illegally adopted, but her attorney says she never will forgive herself for what happened.

At the request of prosecutors, a judge dropped murder charges Wednesday against Hedda Nussbaum, who is expected to testify that her live-in companion, Joel Steinberg, killed Lisa Steinberg, whom they obtained as a newborn from an unwed teenage mother.Steinberg's murder trial was to resume Thursday. Nussbaum is expected to be the star witness against him.

Assistant District Attorney John McCusker, in requesting that murder charges against Nussbaum be dropped, said she was "so physically and mentally incapacitated on the night of the murder that she was not criminally responsible for Lisa's death." Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John Stackhouse granted the motion.

Nussbaum, 46, and Steinberg, 47, had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Lisa last November. Steinberg was indicted by a grand jury on the charge; Nussbaum was not.