Mom faces judge in daughter scissors slaying case

March 16, 2012 - 1:35 PM
Scissors Slaying

Ashton Luken, right, sits in court during Danielle Slaugher's arraignment in Las Vegas Justice Court on Friday, March 16, 2012 in Las Vegas. Danielle Yvonne Slaughter is accused of killing her 6-year-old daughter with scissors. Slaughter appeared confused about whether a mandatory evidence hearing should be held quickly or delayed so she could undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The proceeding will determine whether Slaughter, 27, will stand trial in state court on a charge that could put her in prison for the rest of her life. She is being held without bail in supervised isolation at the Clark County jail. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid) LAS VEGAS SUN OUT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A mother accused of killing her 6-year-old daughter with scissors told a Las Vegas judge on Friday that she understands the murder charge against her.

Danielle Yvonne Slaughter appeared confused, however, about whether a mandatory evidence hearing should be held quickly or delayed so she could undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Against the advice of her public defender, Slaughter chose the two-week minimum, and Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure scheduled the preliminary hearing for March 29.

The proceeding will determine whether Slaughter, 27, will stand trial in state court on a charge that could put her in prison for the rest of her life. She is being held without bail in supervised isolation at the Clark County jail.

"Do you understand the charge against you in this case?" the judge asked Slaughter, who appeared by closed-circuit video from the jail in Las Vegas.

"Yes," Slaughter said.

She was not asked to enter a plea.

Slaughter drew Bonaventure's ire Wednesday after she refused to get out of her jail bed for her initial court appearance.

Slaughter's defense lawyer, Andrea Luem, said Friday that she advised Slaughter to ask the judge to delay the preliminary hearing to April 23 to allow time for an initial psychological evaluation.

Luem has said she's concerned about her client's mental condition and fitness to face charges in the death of Kyla Franks. Luem has not said whether she will seek an insanity defense.

"We don't have enough information at this point about her mental history," Luem said.

Slaughter was hospitalized Sunday after she was found naked and bloody, screaming and running through the streets near her northwest Las Vegas home. She wasn't injured and told police the blood was from the "lamb of God."

Her boyfriend, Ashton Lyken, summoned police after finding the child's lifeless body in a bloody bedroom.

Lyken appeared in court Friday with other friends and family members. They refused to speak with reporters.

Slaughter was jailed early Monday after telling police she hadn't slept much after beginning to take a caffeinated weight-loss product last week, and she felt an "evil presence" before striking her daughter with scissors. Police say the child died of stab wounds.

Slaughter told police her daughter kicked and clawed her, according to the arrest report, and that the girl spoke "evil words" and laughed "in an evil voice."