NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Upper West Side nanny accused of killing two children in her care has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Yoselyn Ortega was arraigned from her bed in the burn unit of New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.
She is charged with two counts each of first-degree and second-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of 6-year-old Lucia Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim on Oct. 25.
Associated Press reporter Colleen Long served as the press witness for the unusual bedside arraignment.
“She was wearing a neck brace and she also appeared to have a [tracheotomy],” Long told reporters, including CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian, following the arraignment. “Her left hand was under the blanket, her right hand was visible and it shook the entire time.”
Long said Ortega’s lawyer entered the plea on her behalf during the 10-minute proceeding as Ortega sat cuffed to the bed, silent, wide-eyed and seemingly alert.
“She didn’t cry. I don’t know, she was just quiet and her eyes were open but she didn’t say anything,” Long told reporters.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
During the hearing, no wounds were visible and Ortega appeared to be breathing on her own.
The judge, along with everyone else in the packed hospital room, wore a hospital gown and blue hair net during the arraignment.
The children were found in a bathtub by their mother, Marina Krim, when she returned home to the family’s luxury apartment building at 75th and Columbus Avenue. Each had been stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife, police said.
Last month, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Ortega, 50, “began to stab herself as the woman [Krim] entered the room.”
Ortega has been hospitalized since with self-inflicted stab wounds. She reportedly told detectives she resented the way the Krim family treated her, though she did not admit to the killings.
Judge Lewis Bart Stone placed Ortega on suicide watch at the hearing Wednesday.
No one answered the door at Ortega’s Washington Heights home on Wednesday, Dardashtian reported.
Neighbor Jenny Benitez told Dardashtian she believes Ortega went insane, and said she hopes for justice for the Krim family.
“She deserves to be punished according to what she did,” Benitez said.
Marina Krim kept a loving blog about her children on livejournal.com called “Life With The Little Krim Kids.” It was filled with thousands of posts and pictures.
Sources told CBS 2 that the Krim parents and their eldest child have moved back to California. They reportedly relocated to New York for Kevin Krim’s job as an executive with CNBC.
“Yoselyn Ortega is charged with taking the lives of two innocent children who were incapable of defending themselves,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said. “This crime shocked and horrified parents around the city, many of whom entrust their children to the care of others both by necessity and by choice. My heart goes out to the family of those beautiful young children, and I hope that, with time, this family will heal.”
Ortega is being held without bail while she undergoes psychological evaluation.
Her next court date is Jan. 16.
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