Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 27, 2012

Mom accused of trying to kill her kids sent to mental hospital

SALEM, Mass —

 The mother who police say tried to kill her two young children by slashing their throasts and leaving them to die in a fire deathtrap has been committed to a state mental hospital for evaluation.

Tanicia Goodwin, 25, was ruled a danger to herself and the public by a local court after prosecutors argued for her confinement to determine if she is mentally stable to stand trial.

Her children -- son, 8, and daughter, 3 -- remain hospitalized with cuts to their necks and smoke inhalation. They were rescued 10 days ago by firefighters from the burning family apartment that had its smoke alarms and sprinkler system disabled.

Police said Goodwin slashed their throats with a heavy kitchen knife, doused them with charcoal lighter fluid and then set the apartment on fire.

During the court hearing, new details emerged about Goodwin's background, including reports of child abuse that were investigated by the state Department of Children and Families.

Prosecutor Melissa Woodward said despite a strong support network of extended family and social workers, Goodwin did not reach out for help.

Woodward described Goodwin's conduct as "extremly brutal and painful" and said she put "the lives of her children and hundreds of others (apartment complex residents) at risk."

Defense lawyer Steven Van Dyke said Goodwin's actions were "completely outside the scope of normal human interactions and raised serious questions about the inner workings of her mind.
Details for this story were provided by the Salem, Mass., News.

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