NEW YORK — A New York woman who worked as a nanny for a Manhattan couple was deemed fit to face trial on charges she stabbed two of their children to death in their Upper West Side home last year.
Two psychiatrists who interviewed the accused, Yoselyn Ortega, 50, and reviewed her “voluminous” medical record found her mentally able to participate in her defense, Justice Gregory Carro said Friday in New York State court in Manhattan.
“Both have found she can participate in a meaningful way to assist in her defense,” Carro said at a hearing that lasted less than five minutes .
Ortega’s lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, said she will contest the finding at a hearing scheduled for May 6.
Ortega pleaded not guilty on Nov. 28 to charges she murdered 2-year-old Leo Krim and his 6-year-old sister, Lucia, on Oct. 25. She entered the plea from a hospital bed, where she was recovering from what police called self-inflicted stab wounds sustained on the day of the killings.
Accompanied by an interpreter, Ortega appeared in a gray prison jumpsuit with her hands cuffed behind her back and her hair arranged tightly in three braids.
Ortega, a naturalized US citizen from the Dominican Republic, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in November.
She faces life in prison if she is convicted of killing the Krim children, who were found in the bathroom of their family’s apartment on West 75th Street, according to the New York City Police Department.
Ortega had been in the United States for 10 years and worked for the Krims for two years at the time of the killings, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said .