- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Latest on the case of a mother charged with stabbing her four children to death in suburban Memphis (all times local):

1 p.m.

Authorities say a mother charged with fatally stabbing four of her children has been taken to a mental health institute after a brief court appearance.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Earle Farrell says 29-year-old Shanynthia Gardner was taken to Memphis Mental Health Institute after she appeared before a judge in a video hearing Tuesday.

The institute is a state psychiatric hospital where most patients have severe and persistent mental illness and are hospitalized on an emergency, involuntary basis, according to a state website. Farrell said he did not know what treatment she was receiving.

Gardner did not answer a judge’s questions during her hearing. She has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of her three daughters and one son - all younger than 5 - in a suburban Memphis apartment.

Gardner is being held without bond. A lawyer hired to represent her declined to comment on the case.


10:30 a.m.

An attorney has been hired to represent a Tennessee woman charged with fatally stabbing four of her children but declined to discuss the case.

Craig Morton says he is representing 29-year-old Shanynthia Gardner, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of her three daughters and one son, all younger than 5.

A judge waived Gardner’s arraignment during a Tuesday hearing at which she appeared by video. Outside court, Morton declined to talk about the case.

Shelby County sheriff’s officials say Gardner stabbed her children Friday afternoon at her apartment. Court documents say she acknowledged killing them in a phone conversation to their father.

A fifth child, age 7, escaped the attack.

Authorities have not said why they think she killed her children. Investigators are looking into whether she has mental health problems

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