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MA Mom Slashed Kids' Throats, Set Home on Fire

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 20, 2012 7:02 AM

Prosecutors in Salem, Mass., have officially charged Tanicia Goodwin with two counts each of assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and arson. The  mother of two is accused of slashing her kids' throats Sunday night before setting her apartment on fire.

Goodwin turned herself in Monday morning at a local police station. Covered in blood and lighter fluid, she allegedly told officers that she was just trying to protect her kids and had planned to commit suicide.

Firefighters became aware of the situation when they saw Tanicia Goodwin carrying her injured 3-year-old daughter outside, reports Reuters. Rescuers then found Goodwin's 8-year-old son in the apartment with his throat slashed. They realized that Goodwin had disabled the apartment's smoke alarms and sprinklers, and had also blocked the air vents.

Prosecutors have requested a so-called "dangerousness" hearing, which the Boston Globe reports is scheduled for March 26. At the hearing, a judge will decide whether Goodwin is too dangerous to be released while she awaits trial. Massachusetts law allows defendants to be held up to 90 days without bail if prosecutors can prove that there is no other way to reasonably ensure the public's safety.

It's highly likely that the judge will grant the prosecution's request. At first blush, it appears that Tanicia Goodwin is suffering from some sort of mental illness: She allegedly slashed her kids' throats and then set her apartment on fire with the purpose of eventually committing suicide. If the allegations are true, a court would likely want this kind of person to receive treatment before trusting that she is safe to roam the streets.

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