A mourner places flowers at a memorial outside the apartment building of the two children allegedly stabbed by their nanny, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, in New York. The 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter of a CNBC executive were found dead by their mother in a dry bathtub in the family's Upper West Side apartment Thursday night, allegedly stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by their nanny, who slit her own throat and collapsed near the children, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The nanny accused of killing two children in their Upper West Side home last month pleaded not guilty Wednesday at a hospital where she's still being treated for stabbing herself the same day.
Yoselyn Ortega, who was handcuffed to her hospital bed, wearing a neck brace and a blue hair net, entered the plea through her attorney. She appeared alert but frail and didn't speak during the 10-minute hearing.
A judge ordered Ortega held without bail while she undergoes a psychiatric exam. A court date was set for Jan. 16.
Police say that on the evening of Oct. 25, while the children's mother was out with a third child, Ortega repeatedly stabbed 6-year-old Lucia Krim and her 2-year-old brother, Leo.
When their mother, Marina Krim, returned with her 3-year-old daughter, she found their bodies in the bathtub, with Ortega lying on the bathroom floor with stab wounds to her neck. A kitchen knife was nearby.
The nanny's attorney, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, indicated her client is still badly injured, telling the judge that Ortega "is profoundly, medically impaired and in need of medical attention."
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement Wednesday that the crime "shocked and horrified parents around the city, many of whom entrust their children to the care of others by necessity and by choice."
The children's parents have not spoken publicly about the murders. When a memorial service was held, the family released a statement saying they wanted to celebrate their "beautiful lives," not just mourn them.