Rachel Henry pleads not guilty in deaths of three kids in Arizona home

An Arizona woman accused of killing her three children in their Phoenix entered a not guilty plea in court, according to court records.

Rachel Henry, 22, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. The Arizona Republic reported. According to a probable cause document, police said Henry admitted to killing her 3-year-old son, 1-year-old daughter and 7-month-old daughter, the newspaper reported.

Polices said Henry smothered her children one at a time and even sang to them, then laid them on the couch in the family living room to make it look like they were sleeping, KNXV reported.

Henry was arraigned in court Tuesday in her first public hearing since she admitted to police that she killed her children on Jan. 20, the Republic reported.

Henry’s attorney, public defender Alan Tavassoli, entered the not-guilty plea for Henry, who was shackled in court, the newspaper reported.

Henry admitted to police she smothered her 1-year-old daughter first, the Republic reported. Henry wrestled with the child before placing her hand over the girl's mouth. As the child kicked in protest, Henry's 3-year-old son yelled at her to stop and tried to punch her in the face, according to the report.

After the girl stopped breathing, Henry left her body in a back bedroom, according to the Republic.

Henry then chased the boy but was interrupted when her husband and aunt returned home, KTVK reported. After a while, Henry took the boy into a back bedroom and changed his underpants, according to the report. She then put the boy on the floor, "straddled him with one of her legs and placed her hand over his nose and mouth," before using her weight on the boy to smother him.

According to the police report, Henry “described singing to the 3-year-old as he scratched her chest and pinched her.”

Police said Henry then gave her 7-month-old daughter a bottle. After the child fell asleep, Henry “sang her a song as she placed her hand over her face and impeded her breath,” according to the probable cause document.

Henry’s next court appearance is set for March 24.

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