- Associated Press - Monday, May 21, 2012

CLEVELAND (AP) — A judge on Monday set bond at $1 million for a woman charged with murder in the death of her best friend, who, after being stabbed in the neck, killed the suspect’s 2-year-old daughter with her car.

Kimberly Black, 29, stared at the floor with her hands clasped behind her back during a brief arraignment in Cleveland Municipal Court. Defendants awaiting arraignment on less serious charges stared wide-eyed when the prosecutor said the victim’s neck had been slashed from “ear to ear.”

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Brian Murphy told the judge without elaboration that Ms. Black has “myriad psychiatric” problems and receives disability payments. There was no discussion of a motive.

Ms. Black has been in custody since Thursday night, when she was found naked and was arrested several blocks from the crime scene. She did not address Judge Charles Patton but nodded when a public defender said she was waiving a detailed proceeding.

Her case now goes to Common Pleas Court. No defense attorney was listed for her.

Ms. Black and her best friend, Sharice Swain, were sitting in a running parked car when they got into an argument, police said. Ms. Black left the vehicle, went into her house, returned with a knife and stabbed Ms. Swain in the face and neck, police said.

The wounded Ms. Swain stepped on the gas pedal and hit Ms. Black’s two young children, who were standing nearby. Two-year-old Kimshia Ruffin was killed, and her 1-year-old sister, Taraji Ruffin, was injured, police said.

Police have not said what started the argument.

It also wasn’t clear whether Ms. Swain hit the children intentionally or accidentally. The car also struck a house, collapsing a porch roof.

The women had been “best friends since birth,” and Ms. Swain considered Ms. Black a cousin, according to the victim’s mother, Anita Swain. She said she didn’t know what started the argument and declined to comment further.

Associated Press photographer Amy Sancetta contributed to this report.

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