Mass. woman denies trying to kill 3-year-old child, self in car

Leeann Rickheit, visible in center with attorney Hillary Knight at right. [T&G Staff/Christine Peterson]

A Massachusetts woman who police say was found with her 3-year-old daughter inside an idling car with the exhaust pipe stuffed with clothing has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.

The Telegram & Gazette reported that Leeann Rickheit was ordered held on $500,000 bail Tuesday in Worcester. She was indicted on Monday.

Police say Rickheit had made a comment to her mother about harming the child. The mother called police, sparking an Amber Alert.

Rickheit and her daughter were found the next morning in Charlton. Both were unconscious or asleep in a car. A trooper smashed a window and both were hospitalized.

Police say Rickheit told them she wanted to kill herself.

Rickheit's attorney has said her client didn't think her daughter would be harmed because she cracked open a window.

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