Woman pleads innocent to killing three children in Arkansas

DE QUEEN, Ark. (AP) - A woman accused of killing her three children has pleaded innocent to three counts of capital murder.

Defense lawyers asked for a mental evaluation for Eleazar Paula Mendez, who is accused of smothering her eight-year-old son and six-year-old twins, a girl and a boy. Circuit Judge Ted C- Capeheart granted the request. The judge also ordered Mendez held without bond.

The case against Mendez will be on hold until the mental evaluation is complete. Defense lawyer Norman Cox says it will take six to nine months to get results of the mental exam.

Mendez was moved to the Sevier County Jail after being treated at a hospital for ingesting a toxic substance in an apparent failed suicide attempt Saturday.

A priest who visited Mendez says she has "tremendous remorse."

Mendez was initially listed on police records has "Paula Eleazar Mendez." Authorities say her first and middle names were juxtaposed, and the correct "Eleazar Paula Mendez" is being entered in court records.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)