Arizona mom denies killing 2 children with meat cleaver

National & World News

This Saturday, May 15, 2021, booking photo released by Tempe Police Department shows Yui Inoue, 40, who is jailed for allegedly killing her two children in Temple, Ariz. Yui Inoue remained jailed on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder, according to Tempe police. It was unclear Sunday if Inoue has a lawyer yet. Police said the woman primarily speaks Japanese and had an interpreter for a post-Miranda interview. Inoue drove to a police station about 7 a.m. Saturday and told officers she was hearing voices telling her to kill her children, authorities said. (Tempe Police Department via AP)

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman accused in the grisly slayings of her two children with a meat cleaver made her first court appearance Monday, where she denied harming them.

“I did not kill anybody,” Yui Inoue, 40, said through a Japanese interpreter before a Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner in Phoenix told her not to talk about the case except with an attorney.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a face mask in front of a podium, Inoue otherwise spoke little during her initial appearance, where prosecutor Jay Rademacher asked that she be held on a $2 million cash bond.

Rademacher described how the bodies of Inoue’s 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son were found in their suburban Phoenix apartment lacerated, mutilated and “almost completely decapitated.”

“These children were helpless, Your Honor, and did everything they could to fight their mother,” Rademacher said.

Upon hearing the prosecutor’s description of the children’s injuries, Inoue put her head down on the podium.

Inoue is facing two counts of first-degree murder. The commissioner ordered she be held on the requested bond, surrender her passport and wear an electronic monitoring device. He also ordered her a court-appointed defense attorney. It was not immediately known if one had been assigned.

Inoue went to a Tempe police station Saturday morning and told officers that “she was hearing voices telling her to kill her children,” according to charging documents.

Police called Inoue’s husband. He said the couple, who filed for divorce in April, had fought the night before over money she wanted to move to Japan. He said she threatened to stab him so he left around 12:30 a.m.

Police said they had been called to the woman’s apartment earlier Saturday morning because of a domestic dispute involving a husband and wife.

Her husband told investigators he slept in his car in a parking lot. He told authorities he did not think she would harm their children.

Police also said there was no apparent reason at the time to call child welfare authorities.

Later that morning, different officers went to the apartment and discovered the bodies of both children under a blanket and boxes, as well as a large amount of blood.

The children, who had numerous wounds, were immediately pronounced dead. Their names have not been released.

Police arrested the mother after noticing bloodstains on her heel, superficial cuts on her fingers, and bruising on her hands and knees. They also noticed blood spatter on suitcases in her car.

When questioned by police through a Japanese interpreter, Inoue said she woke up around 4:30 a.m. with blood on her hands and arms. She found her children dead but said she had no memory of doing anything to them. She said she took a bath before heading to the police station.

Tempe police recovered a meat cleaver with a 6-inch (15-centimeter) blade from her car. It was in a bag containing clothes with bloodstains.

Inoue’s next preliminary court hearing is scheduled for May 25.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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