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Dayton woman accused of killing 2 of her kids pleads insanity

Claudena Helton, who police said killed two of her children and asked a third to help her drag the bodies outside, has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

»INVESTIGATION: Who is protecting our children? Adults with a history of abuse have killed hundreds of Ohio kids

Dayton police said Helton, 30, admitted to shooting 8-year-old daughter Khmorra and 6-year-old son Kaiden in their heads — and asking her third child to help drag their bodies outside. She was indicted on six counts of aggravated murder. No trial date is set.

»RELATED: Police say mom admitted to killing 2 kids, asking third to help with bodies

In court documents, Dayton police wrote that Helton said she shot them to “save them from the evils of the world.”

In a notice to the court of the insanity plea obtained by this news organization, Helton’s attorney wrote that his client “does not understand what she is being charged with or what acts constitute the crime,” Anthony VanNoy wrote. “Defendant has a history of mental health issues and does not understand the consequences of her actions.”

»RELATED: Dayton chief after 2 kids shot in head: ‘This is one of the toughest’

VanNoy asked Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer to allow a psychological evaluation of Helton. Langer granted the sanity evaluation, according to court documents.

Helton — who was naked and in what neighbors said was trance-like state when police arrived just after 10 a.m. May 18 — was interviewed not long after police said passers-by were performing life-saving measures on the children outside the home at 3821 Lori Sue Ave.

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A complaint and affidavit said Helton asked her oldest child, an 11-year-old, to assist her in removing the children from the home. The girl was taken from the home and interviewed. Montgomery County Children Services said it had an open case regarding Helton but declined to provide more details.

Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl has said he suspected mental health issues were possible because of Helton’s actions.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi


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