An empty courtroom with benches, judges bench flag and elaborate chandelier.
An example of a courtroom, but not one in the story. Photo from Pixabay.

A woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murdering her three young children in East Los Angeles.

Sandra Chico, now 29, was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $6 million bail while awaiting a July 26 hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require her to stand trial on three counts each of murder and assault on a child causing death.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies went to a residence in the 600 block of Ferris Avenue on June 28, 2021, after receiving a report that two children at the home were not breathing, according to Lt. Charles Calderaro. Deputies found two boys and a girl in the home, and none of the children was breathing, he said.

Paramedics were called, but all three children were pronounced dead at the scene.

They were identified by the coroner’s office as Mia Camila Rodriguez, 4; Mason Mateo Rodriguez, 3; and Milan Mateas Rodriguez, who was born less than two months earlier.

Authorities have not disclosed how the children died.

Chico was arrested by sheriff’s deputies that afternoon and has been behind bars since then, according to jail records.

In a written statement announcing the charges in June 2021, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said, “In an instant, three innocent children were taken from us and we are crestfallen. Nothing is more heartbreaking than the tragic betrayal of a parent failing to protect their children.”

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