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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

The Detroit mother who now faces murder charges after two of her young children's bodies were found in a deep freezer last week has been ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluations.

State and independent doctors will determine whether Mitchelle Blair, 35, is competent to understand the charges she faces, which were amended to include felony murder, premeditated murder, torture and first-degree child abuse.

The state district court judge entered a not guilty plea on her behalf during an arraignment Thursday. She stood expressionless and did not speak.

"There are times when she can communicate in a very effective manner, then there are times when she can't," defense attorney Wyatt Harris said of Blair, who remains held in Wayne County Jail.

Prosecutors anticipated charging Blair with murder after autopsies were completed on her two children: Stoni Ann Blair, 13, and Stephen Gage Berry, 9. A medical examiner determined they had been beaten before they died. I

It is unclear when the children were killed. Authorities have said they would be 15 and 11, respectively, if they were still alive.

Blair has two other children — a 17-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son — who were placed with other family members. Her next hearing is scheduled for June 19.


— Erik Ortiz