Covering Louisiana

Feb 28, 2013 9:22 AM by AP

Woman enters plea in deaths of her children

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A 23-year-old New Orleans mother accused of shooting her 3-year-old son and drowning her 4-year-old daughter in the bathtub has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/12bZ5jT ) Chelsea Thornton entered her plea Wednesday.

Thornton, who has a long, well-documented history of mental illness, was found incompetent to stand trial at a hearing in December. She is now being treated at East Louisiana Mental Health System in East Feliciana Parish, in an effort to stabilize her mental condition well enough to proceed with trial.

Meanwhile, an Orleans Parish grand jury indicted Thornton last month on two counts of first-degree murder. The state could pursue a death sentence if she is convicted.

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