A North Carolina woman charged with the deaths of her two toddler children made her first court appearance on Monday and was denied bond.
Launice Shanique Battle, 29, was arrested and charged with first degree murder Saturday at Duke Raleigh Hospital, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Police have not yet said how the children — ages 3 and 2 — died, but they did say they were called to the hospital about two dead children shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Raleigh News & Observer said.
The children’s father, however, told WRAL that he was told the girls, 3-year-old Amora Lou Milbourne and 2-year-old Trinity Michelle, were left in a hot car.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman declined to share any facts of the case, including how and where the girls died.
Other family members said the deaths were “a careless mistake.”
“She was always there. She’s a caring and loving mother to her kids at the end of the day. She’s not a cold-blooded murderer. She’s not a killer,” Battle’s cousin, Keisha Harris said.
Another cousin, Lisacious Williams, said the family loves “Launice no matter what, and we will support her nomatter what.”
“This was a careless mistake,” she said.
In court on Monday, Superior Court Judge James Ammons said Battle would face life without parole or the death penalty if convicted of the crimes and ordered her held without bail. She has another hearing scheduled for September 19, the News & Observer said..
According to WRAL, birth records also show that Battle has a 6-year-old son, also with the surname “Milbourne.” Battle’s neighbors in Cary told the station they thought she was single mother, however, and said she had moved into the neighborhood about three months ago.
Cary police told WRAL they had no record of calls about child abuse or neglect at her address.
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[Featured image: Launice Shanique Battle/Wake County City-County Bureau of Identification]