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Calif. woman accused in toddler chili powder death pleads not guilty to murder, assault

A Southern California woman has pleaded not guilty to murder and assault charges stemming from the death of a 2-year-old girl who died from complications after eating chili powder.

Prosecutor Kathleen DiDonato said 21-year-old Amanda Sorensen entered her plea Thursday in a Victorville courtroom. Sorensen is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to return to court Jan. 17.

Authorities said the girl, identified in court documents as Joileen G., was found at an Apple Valley home over the weekend suffering from a seizure after ingesting the kitchen spice. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The girl is the daughter of Sorenson's boyfriend. Investigators declined to elaborate on the case.

A phone message left for the public defender's office wasn't immediately returned.

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