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California grandma pleads not guilty in fatal stab attack

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A California woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to the murder of her 18-month-old granddaughter and the attempted murder of another granddaughter and daughter in a stabbing attack.

Nicole Yanick Darrington, 43, entered the pleas in a San Bernardino court and was ordered held on $3.2 million bail, online court records show.

Defense lawyer Loyst P. Fletcher declined to discuss case details but said Darrington’s mental competency would likely be discussed when she returns to court June 16.

“Obviously this is someone who snapped and has some very serious problems,” he said by phone after the hearing, where he made a special appearance for her attorneys.

Prosecutors declined to immediately discuss the case, a district attorney spokesman said.

Authorities say Darrington stabbed to death her 18-month-old granddaughter Damani Trouter and wounded another granddaughter and her and daughter Monday during a visit to their home in Colton, then fled the scene. She was arrested the following day after she was spotted by police in San Bernardino.

Darrington — who police previously referred to as Darrington-Clark — spent nearly a decade in a state psychiatric hospital and outpatient treatment program after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2005 attempted murder of her own children.

She was deemed sane by a jury in 2015. That decision meant she no longer required court-mandated psychiatric care.

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