New York nanny pleads not guilty to kid slayings 30 ноября 2012, 13:42
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A makeshift memorial is left outside the Krim family apartment. ©REUTERS
A Manhattan nanny accused of stabbing to death two small children in her care before trying to commit suicide pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a hospital court hearing, AFP reports.
"I ask you to enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of my client," Yoselyn Ortega's attorney said at the hearing, convened at the hospital bed of the woman, who remains in a serious condition after allegedly slashing her own throat in front of the children's horrified mother.
Her lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, said Ortega "sustained serious medical injuries and mental trauma." The judge said she should remain under suicide watch and in custody until a psychiatric exam is complete.
The Dominican woman has been charged with murder in the first and second degree, meaning that if convicted, she could face life in prison without parole.
Police say Ortega, 50, was found by the children's mother in her luxury apartment's bathroom, with six-year-old Lucia Krim and her two-year-old brother Leo already fatally stabbed. The nanny was bleeding from her own throat.
The horror of the October 25 bloodbath in a posh neighborhood next to Central Park shocked New York, where babysitters and nannies are heavily relied upon by parents trying to juggle jobs and family life.
Press coverage of the unusual court proceeding was highly restricted, although minutes of the hearing were quickly released.
Van Leer-Greenberg tried unsuccessfully to get further restrictions, saying that Ortega, who had tubes attached to her chest and was handcuffed to the bed, was "in a very debilitated condition" and "has a right to privacy."
But Judge Lewis Bart Stone allowed in a single print reporter, while barring any photographs of the hospital room or general media access.
The possible motive for the grisly murders remains unclear. New York media reports quote investigators saying the nanny had been suffering financial difficulties and stress related to her recent move to New York from the Dominican Republic.
Other reports suggest she'd been unhappy with being asked by her employers, Kevin and Marina Krim, to do extra work.
Krim, an executive with CNBC, and his wife live in one of Manhattan's most upscale neighborhoods, near the famed Central Park and the Museum of Natural History.
The judge set January 16 for Ortega's next court proceeding to see "if she's competent to proceed."