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Kansas City Woman Faces Hearing for Attempted Murder

A 23-year-old Kansas City woman has made her first videoconference court appearance in connection with the attempted murder of her children. The woman is mounting a criminal defense against the charges, which allege that she held her kids under water in an attempt to drown them.

The woman showed little emotion during the hearing, answering the judge with terse comments after the brief procedures. She is facing multiple counts of attempted first-degree murder after she reportedly held her 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters under water in a bid to drown them. She called 911 after the children were rendered unresponsive. The woman's bond remains set at $1 million, but has not posted the money for her release.

Attorneys in the case said that such actions generally have deeper roots than simple malice. They are working to ensure that the woman gets a fair legal trial in connection with the case, perhaps because of other mitigating factors like mental illness. The woman was unable to physically attend courtroom proceedings, for example, because she was being held on suicide watch at the local correctional center.

The children remain hospitalized because of injuries suffered during the attempted drowning. Their medical condition and prognoses remain unclear at this time.

It is also not clear whether the woman intends to file a guilty plea in connection with the case. A guilty plea would allow the woman to perhaps negotiate for a lesser charge or a more lenient sentencing protocol. Guilty pleas are often beneficial for both the suspect and the government because the trial process is avoided, thus reducing cost and trial duration. Guilty pleas are generally useful in cases in which significant evidence exists to point toward the defendant's guilt.

If the woman remains in custody, she will not be making future court appearances except through videoconferencing procedures.

Criminal defense attorneys ensure that rights of those accused of a crime are protected because everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "KCK mother accused of trying to murder her children makes first court appearance," Robert A. Cronkleton, April 5, 2013

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