Alabama mom pleads not guilty to murder of malnourished toddler

JORDAN RICE

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman has pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the death of her severely malnourished toddler.

Al.com reports 28-year-old Jordan Rice entered the plea Wednesday, saying she suffered from “mental disease and defect.” Rice has undergone surgery for a tumor in her head since she was first charged with aggravated child abuse in the 2018 death of 1-year-old Violet. Rice’s family and attorney have said the tumor caused near blindness. The new charge was added Tuesday.

Violet’s father, 30-year-old Robert Rice, is charged with manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. An arrest warrant was issued for him this month. The Air Force veteran wasn’t there when Violet died, but authorities say he knew about her condition. Two other children were removed from the couple’s home.

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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

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