Lawyer: Mom accused in drownings dealt with mental illness

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HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston mother accused of drowning her two children in her home’s bathtub has a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, her attorney said Wednesday.

Sheborah Thomas, 30, had been set to appear in court but remained in the Harris County Jail undergoing a mental health evaluation, attorney Alvin Nunnery said after the hearing.

Nunnery described Thomas as being in a catatonic, almost incoherent state when he visited her Tuesday. He has been appointed by the court to represent Thomas following her arrest Sunday on two counts of capital murder under 10 years of age for the deaths of her 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.

“She had a previous diagnosis of schizophrenia, as well as bipolar disorder. She also is currently severely, severely depressed. In either event, she is unable to make her court appearance today,” he said. “We will evaluate her situation in the next couple of days.”

Nunnery said Thomas, who is being held without bond, had been prescribed medication but had not been taking it. Thomas’ next court appearance was set for Aug. 25.

According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, Thomas told police that she drowned her two children Friday after picking them up from daycare and feeding them. Authorities allege Thomas drowned her daughter first in her home’s bathtub and then did the same to her son, forcing their heads underwater.

Police say investigators are still trying to determine a motive, but belie Thomas acted alone. Autopsies have been ordered.

On Sunday, Thomas tried to first bury the bodies next to her house but was not able to dig a deep enough hole, authorities said. She then rolled the bodies underneath a neighbor’s house, according to the affidavit.

An acquaintance who was helping Thomas move on Sunday alerted police after Thomas calmly told him that she had killed her two children, according to authorities.

In 2012, Child Protective Services had placed the two children with their maternal grandmother after the girl, then 2 years old, was found wandering the streets with an intoxicated homeless man, according to court documents.

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