CRIME

Chicago-area mom pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A suburban Chicago woman has pleaded not guilty to charges she tried to kill her two young children.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that 38-year-old Tracy F. Johnson of Hoffman Estates faces two felony counts of attempted murder. She entered the plea Thursday and is held at the Cook County jail on $2 million bond. Each count is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors say police responding to a well-being check in May found Johnson unresponsive on the floor and detected a strong natural gas odor. Johnson's 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son were found groggy but alert.

Prosecutors say Johnson told authorities she didn't want the children to go to their father and that "heaven was the best place for all three of them."

She's next due in court Aug. 28.

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Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com