- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A district court judge ordered a mental health evaluation for a St. Paul woman charged Wednesday with drowning her 6-year-old daughter in a bathtub.

Kayla Marie Jones, 25, made her first court appearance Wednesday afternoon after being charged with second-degree murder. The allegations against Jones say she accused her boyfriend of sexually abusing her daughter and told police she held her daughter under water in the bathtub to “save her from this world.”

Ramsey County District Court Judge Shawn Bartsh ordered the evaluation to determine if Jones is competent to stand trial. Jones was also granted a public defender. Her bail was set at $2 million.

If deemed competent and convicted, she faces up to 40 years in prison. Her next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

The boyfriend, who is not named in the complaint, has not been charged in the death. He is not the girl’s father, according to the Ramsey County attorney’s office. He had been out of the apartment at the time of the death, according to charging papers, and he was crying and screaming in disbelief when responding officers approached him at the scene.

The Ramsey County attorney’s office said there was no immediate indication that Jones’ allegations of abuse against her boyfriend were valid.

A preliminary autopsy found that the girl had hemorrhages in the tissues around her eyes and a scratch mark on her neck. She also suffered multiple internal injuries. Her death was officially ruled a drowning.

The complaint doesn’t give the girl’s name.

Jones surrendered to police when they responded to a 911 call early Tuesday at her apartment building. The charging papers say her clothes were wet and she showed no emotion.

Emergency personnel tended to her daughter, who wasn’t breathing. The child was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“The actions of the defendant are both chilling and heartbreaking,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a written statement. “We will pursue the appropriate level of justice in this case.”

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