Mother pleads not guilty to drugging kids

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- A Utah mother accused of drugging her two daughters with an antidepressant pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony criminal charges.

An attorney for Reggie Ann Peck entered the plea on her behalf during an arraignment in 2nd District Court.

Peck has been charged with two counts each of second-degree felony inflicting serious harm on a child intentionally and administering a substance surreptitiously.

Each charge carries a possible penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Judge David R. Hamilton set Oct. 20. for the next hearing.

The 35-year-old Logan mother was arrested Aug. 30 when deputies found her and the two girls parked off a road in South Weber.

In court documents, police say Peck had been with the girls in the car for two days, giving them prescription medications that had not been prescribed for either girl.

Investigators also said that at some point Peck had used a box cutter to cut one child's wrist, although the wound was only superficial.

On Aug. 30, police approached Peck's car, but she refused to unlock the door. Court papers say Peck grabbed one of the girls and then held the box cutter to her own throat, begging police to shoot her.

Deputies broke the car windows to rescue the children.

As police tried to take the knife, Peck began to slice her own throat, which the children witnessed, court papers state.

In January, Peck agreed to a plea in abeyance on charges of administering a substance surreptitiously, assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child, according to court documents. Police said Peck had put the antidepressant drug Trazodone in the children's bottles.

The plea in abeyance meant her record would be wiped clean if she obeyed orders to participate in counseling through the Cache County mental health court program.

On Wednesday, Peck's defense attorney, Todd Utzinger, said he is awaiting court records from Cache County so he can better understand her situation.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Richard Larsen said he anticipates Peck's mental health will be "an issue we will need to address."

Peck also filed for divorce from her husband, Kevin Scott Peck in November 2009. Court records show the divorce is not yet final.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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