Mother smiles through hearing on child's slaying

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ASTORIA, Ore. — The Washington mother accused of killing her infant daughter before trying to slit her teenage daughter's throat has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

Jessica Smith, whose last address according to court documents was in Vancouver, appeared by video in Clatsop County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

She smiled throughout the hearing. When asked whether she understood that she would not be released before a Sept. 30 court date, she winked.

Police say the 40-year-old drove her children to a resort in Cannon Beach, Ore., before her husband prepared to seek custody of the children.

Smith checked in July 30, and a cleaning crew found the infant's body and the injured teenager Aug. 1.

Smith's attorney says the case is complex and he needs time to prepare Smith's defenses, including one potentially based on her mental health.