Mom charged with murder of 2 young children competent for trial

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Mom charged with murder of 2 young children competent for trial

The 30-year-old Dayton mother accused of killing two of her children has been ruled to be “presently competent to stand trial” after the judge reviewed a psychiatric report, but reports about her plea of not guilty by reason of insanity were not finished.

Claudena Helton was to be in court Friday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, but her appearance was continued after an in-chambers meeting of attorneys.

Defense attorney Anthony VanNoy said Friday he asked for the continuance until mid-January for more time for reports to be complete.

A Nov. 3 docket entry by Judge Dennis Langer ruled that Helton was “presently competent to stand trial” after reviewing a psychiatric report often used in cases that don’t also include an insanity plea.

Dayton police said Helton admitted to shooting 8-year-old daughter Khmorra and 6-year-old son Kaiden in their heads — and asking her third child to help drag their bodies outside. She was indicted on six counts of aggravated murder. No trial date has been set.

In court documents, Dayton police wrote that Helton said she shot them to “save them from the evils of the world.”

VanNoy asked Langer to allow a psychological evaluation of Helton, whichLanger granted, according to court documents.

Helton’s attorney wrote that his client “does not understand what she is being charged with or what acts constitute the crime. ...

“Defendant has a history of mental health issues and does not understand the consequences of her actions,’VanNoy wrote.

Helton — who police said was naked and in what neighbors said was trance-like state when police arrived just after 10 a.m. May 18 — was interviewed not long after police said passersby performed life-saving measures on the children outside the home at 3821 Lori Sue Ave.

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