July 17, 2013

N.H. mom accused of forcing kids to drink bleach

The Associated Press

SEABROOK, N.H. — A lawyer for a New Hampshire woman accused of forcing her two young children to drink bleach argued Wednesday for a low bail, saying she's undergoing mental health treatment and won't be able to continue if kept in jail.

Wendy Wright of Seabrook, 33, has been charged with two charges of attempted assault, alleging she "knowingly attempted to cause serious bodily injury" to her children, ages 6 and 7.

Police say Wright induced her children to consume the chemical on June 18 at their home. All three were taken to hospitals. Authorities say both children were released from the hospital and are doing well. Wright, who was hospitalized in Boston, agreed to be brought back to New Hampshire to face the charges.

Wright's lawyer, Tony Naro, said prosecutors' $500,000 bail request is excessive. He argued for $1,000, saying it was all her family could afford. But the judge set bail at $200,000, WMUR-TV reported.

Naro asked that the charges be dropped, saying there's no proof Wright tried to harm her children.

"This case comes down to mental illness," Naro said at Wright's arraignment. He said she received treatment for her "undertreated and perhaps undiagnosed mental illness" while she spent three weeks at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He said Wright left with a number of prescriptions to help with her treatment.

Detective Scott Mendes, a Seabrook Police Department prosecutor, said Naro "can certainly try to" suggest Wright's mental health state is on the mend "to avoid the high cash bail the state asked for," but, "We don't believe that is exactly the truth to the matter in this case."

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