Phoenix mother pleads not guilty to smothering 3 children
PHOENIX – The Phoenix mother accused of killing her three young children last month pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges Tuesday.
Rachel Henry, 22, was arrested Jan. 20 after she allegedly smothered her 3-year-old son, 23-month-old daughter and 7-month-old daughter.
She identified herself by name and provided her birthday when asked in court, but said nothing else during her brief arraignment hearing.
On Jan. 28, a grand jury indicted Henry on three counts of first-degree murder.
Police said Henry admitted to killing the children one by one at a home near Baseline Road and 24th Street where she lived with her husband, the kids and her great-aunt.
Henry allegedly then placed the children on the couch as if they were sleeping.
Prosecutors have said that Henry has acknowledged having a history of methamphetamine addiction and that her children had previously been removed from their home by child-welfare authorities in Oklahoma because of issues related to her drug problem.
Henry’s family moved from Oklahoma to Phoenix in June.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety said it didn’t have any earlier contacts or abuse reports involving the family.
No motive for the killings has emerged.
Henry’s next court date, an initial pretrial conference, was set for March 24.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.