Modesto mom accused of attempted murder back in court

05/17/2012 10:34 AM

05/18/2012 6:12 AM

The 18-year-old women accused of trying to kill her infant daughter appeared briefly in Stanislaus County Superior Court Thursday to waive her right to a speedy trial.

Cashel Sophia Phin’s listened to a court appointed interpreter as Judge Linda McFadden approved her attorney's request to continue her next hearing to July 11 to give time to investigate the case.

Phin has been charged with attempted murder, two counts of soliciting to commit murder and one count of willful poisoning. Her bail is set at $1.6 million.

The Modesto High School student was arrested last week after Modesto police were informed by one of her classmates that she was talking about killing her baby, Anna, by throwing her in the trash.

Officers went to Phin’s home where they learned she had also asked her sisters to kill the child, according to the criminal complaint.

At Phin’s arraignment hearing Friday her sister Jen Chhun said Phin never did anything to harm her child.

Deputy District Attorney W.R. McKenzie said last week that Phin put rat poisoning in Anna’s bottle.

Chhun said she and her father spotted a blue-like substance floating in a bottle of formula a few weeks ago. They didn't know what it was and threw out the formula. They didn't know how the substance got into the formula and used a different bottle to feed the baby.

Chhun said she and her father had been examining the bottles before the baby was fed because they were worried about Phin's behavior.

Chhun said she believes her sister started battling depression shortly before she became pregnant.

Her family was in court Thursday but would not talk media.

For reasons officials would not comment on, Phin did not appear in court for her arraignment last week but via a closed-circuit television.

She walked into Department 2 Thursday looking disheveled with shackles on her arms and legs. She wore a gray shirt and dark blue pants; the custodial dress of a mental health inmate.

See video below of Phin entering, exiting courtroom

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