LAS VEGAS – A mother accused of killing her 6-year-old daughter with scissors refused to leave her jail bed for her first court appearance Wednesday, drawing angry words from a Las Vegas judge and concern from her lawyer about her mental state.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure reset Danielle Yvonne Slaughter's arraignment on a murder with a weapon charge for Friday, telling a jail supervisor by closed-circuit video that he wants Slaughter brought forcibly to court if necessary.
"I have concerns with delaying a case with such a serious charge," the judge said.
Slaughter was being held in supervised isolation at the Clark County jail, and Deputy Public Defender Andrea Luem told the judge she was worried about Slaughter's mental condition. Luem said she hoped to obtain a psychological evaluation.
"My concern is whether she's able to understand the charges," Luem said.
Several friends and supporters of Slaughter attended the brief court hearing and accompanied Luem back to her office afterward. They refused to speak with reporters or identify themselves.
Slaughter, 27, told police she hadn't slept well for several days while taking a caffeinated weight-loss product, felt an "evil presence" and heard "evil" words and laughter from her daughter, Kyla Franks, before striking the girl with scissors on Sunday.
Police found Slaughter running barefoot and naked in the streets, her hands bloody from what she said was the "lamb of God." The child's body was found at their home.
Police believe the blood found on Slaughter was from her daughter. Slaughter told homicide detectives who questioned her early Monday she couldn't believe what happened.
"Did I kill my daughter? Is she dead?" Slaughter asked.
In the recorded police interview, Slaughter said she had trouble sleeping since she started taking the weight-loss product Hydroxycut four days earlier. She said she slept just one hour on the night before the attack.
Police homicide Lt. Ray Steiber said investigators believe the mother was sleep-deprived and may have been affected by the weight-loss product. A police report said Slaughter told investigators "she never felt this way before."
Hydroxycut was recalled in 2009 due to complaints about liver damage, but a U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman said it was returned to the market after it was reformulated.
Officials for parent company Iovate Health Services Inc. of Canada and Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y., did not immediately respond to messages.