J'can woman charged with the murder of her two children 'too sick' for US court
The Jamaican woman charged in connection with what Miramar police call the premeditated murders of her two children while on vacation in South Florida did not appear in court today as expected.
Instead 40-year-old Sophia Hines who lived in Philadelphia with her family remains in the psychiatric ward of a Broward County jail on suicide watch.
The Sun Sentinel newspaper quotes Assistant Public Defender Betsy Benson as saying the woman is catatonic.
"It looks like it was postpartum depression that was misdiagnosed. She is very, very sick right now. It is very hard for us to communicate with her."
Hines was arrested on Wednesday night at the Miramar at the home of her cousin after her seven-month-old baby boy St. Leo, and daughter, three-year-old daughter Ariel were pronounced dead.
Police records indicate that Hines told detectives she held a bed sheet over St Leo’s mouth until he was no longer breathing then did the same to her daughter.
St. Leo is the son of Anthony Singleton of Philadelphia while Ariel is the daughter of Craig Thomas in Jamaica.
Hines also has two children in their 20s living here.
She has worked in the US as a retail clerk and in telephone sales and was married Singleton four months ago.
In the meantime, the US prosecutor says the Jamaican woman may not be fit for trial.
"If she is found incompetent, we'll try to get her in a hospital as soon as possible," Benson said.
Hines' family relatives have said she was a wonderful mother who loved her children and her husband says he has been left shocked and devastated.