Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2017

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Mom refuses to attend own murder hearing for daughter’s stabbing death

Judge orders Danielle Slaughter be brought to court Friday


Las Vegas Metro Police Department / Las Vegas Metro Police Department

Danielle Slaughter

Kyla Franks crime scene

A woman accused of stabbing and killing her 6-year-old daughter — saying she had sensed an “evil presence” in the girl — refused to leave her jail cell Wednesday morning to make her first appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure, who expressed his dismay that she wasn’t brought to court, rescheduled the arraignment on murder charges for Danielle Slaughter, 27, and ordered a Clark County Detention Center official to make sure she would be at the next hearing. He set that for 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Bonaventure also appointed the Clark County Public Defender’s Office to represent Slaughter.

Andrea Luem, a member of the public defender’s homicide team, told the judge that Slaughter was in an isolation cell "on suicide watch" and that it was questionable whether she understood the charges against her.

Slaughter was arrested Sunday for the death of her daughter, Kyla Franks. Slaughter was taken to Valley Hospital on Sunday after police found her near Vegas Drive and Decatur Boulevard running naked and with blood on her hands, which she told officers came from the “Lamb of God,” according to the arrest report.

Slaughter, who said she recently began taking a dietary supplement, said the incident was out of character for her and repeatedly expressed disbelief that she killed her daughter, the arrest report states.

Slaughter blamed an “evil presence” she had been feeling in the house for several days, acknowledging the need to remove evil from the dwelling, according to the arrest report.

Luem said outside the hearing that she had been able to talk to Slaughter, but had been able to have no meaningful discussion with her about the case.

About a half dozen of Slaughter’s relatives and friends were at this morning’s hearing. Slaughter was to have been brought into a hearing room, which the judge viewed through a video monitor.

Bonaventure asked a corrections officer in charge of bringing those in custody to the court why Slaughter wasn’t brought to the hearing.

“Does she pose some kind of threat? I’d like to know the reason she wasn’t transported to the court,” the judge said. “Let me hear from the corrections officer. Does she pose some kind of threat to the corrections officers or to herself or to other inmates?”

One of the corrections officers in the room with the others in custody told the judge over the video that when he went to pick up Slaughter, “she refused to get out of her bunk. Right now, she’s in isolation housing. And, therefore, due to her refusal, we would have to get a court order to go in and get her.”

Luem told the judge that Slaughter was in isolation “on suicide watch.” Luem asked the judge to pass over the matter for about two days. She said there were questions about her competency.

“I have concerns about delaying a case with such a serious charge,” Bonaventure said. “The state has filed a criminal complaint here, charging murder with the use of a deadly weapon. This is the time set for arraignment. I cannot continue on without the defendant present. However, based on your representation, it sounds like we might not be able to complete the arraignment today. “

Luem said it appeared that Slaughter didn’t understand the charges filed against her.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Pam Weckerly said she had no opposition against waiting for two days.

“I was inclined to order that she be transported to court today,” Bonaventure said. “But the defense attorney has expressed some concerns. I am however, ordering that she be brought to court by the next court date. Is that clear?”

Bonaventure said Slaughter will continue to be held without bail.

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