Illinois mom charged in 2 kids' deaths denied bond

By the Associated Press | September 16, 2011 | 1:20 PM EDT

This Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 booking photo provided by the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department in Belleville, Ill., shows Yokeia Smith, 25, of East St. Louis, Ill. Smith, who is charged with the Aug. 31 shotgun killings of her 5-year-old son and her 4-year-old daughter, was denied bond Friday during her arraignment in Belleville. (AP Photo/St. Clair County Sheriff's Department)

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A judge in southwestern Illinois has denied bond for a woman accused of killing two of her children with a shotgun last month.

Associate St. Clair County Judge Julie Katz entered a not guilty plea on behalf of 25-year-old Yokeia (yoh-KEE'-uh) Smith during a brief arraignment Friday. Katz also appointed a public defender to represent the East St. Louis woman. No new court appearance was scheduled.

Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 31 killings of her 5-year-old son and her 4-year-old daughter. She was arrested in St. Louis shortly after the killings when authorities say she hit two pedestrians with her vehicle.

In court Friday, she appeared disheveled and was shackled at her ankles and wrists. She didn't comment as she was escorted from the courtroom.