Mother smiles through hearing accusing her of killing toddler, injuring teenager in Oregon

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) -- A woman accused of killing her 2-year-old child before trying to slit her teenage daughter's throat has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

Jessica Smith appeared by video in Clatsop County Circuit Court in Oregon on Tuesday.

She smiled throughout the hearing. When asked whether she understood that she would not be released before a Sept. 30 court date, she winked.

Police say the 40-year-old from Washington state drove her daughters to a resort in Cannon Beach, Oregon, before her husband prepared to seek custody of the children.

Smith checked in July 30, and a cleaning crew found the toddler's body and the injured teenager Aug. 1.

Smith's attorney says the case is complex and he needs time to prepare Smith's defenses, including one potentially based on her mental health.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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