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Babysitter pleads not guilty to murder charge

Published On: Apr 18 2013 09:17:57 AM CDT
LEWISTON, Idaho -

A northern Idaho woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of a toddler she was babysitting has pleaded not guilty.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Natasha N. Hodges, 29, of Lewiston made the plea Wednesday in 2nd District Court.

A grand jury indicted Hodges last week in the Aug. 30 death of 2-year-old Rylee Mingo.

Lewiston police say the young girl and an older sibling had been left in the care of Hodges when their mother went to work. The younger child began to have breathing difficulty and Hodges called an ambulance.

Prosecutors say the child died of internal bleeding after being struck in the abdomen by Hodges.

A trial date hasn't been set yet. Hodges is free on $50,000 bond.

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