LANDER, (AP) - A Riverton mother accused of strangling her newborn has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency. Lorene Quist Gines is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly strangling her baby with a string shortly after giving birth Sept. 8. Gines entered her plea in Ninth District Court in Lander on Thursday.
The Fremont County Attorney's Office announced at the hearing that it would not seek the death penalty against Gines. If convicted, Gines faces life in prison with or without parole. Gines will undergo an evaluation to test her claims of mental illness and determine the next steps in her case. Gines bail remains at $500,000. The judge scheduled her jury trial for March 9.