The Brooklyn mother, who allegedly drowned her three young children on a Coney Island beach, was being held at the bedside without bail during her arraignment on Friday – and could face three life sentences if convicted.
Erin Merdy, 31, wore a yellow dress as she leaned on the railing of her bed and supported her head with her hand in the NYU Langone-Brooklyn psychiatric ward.
Merdy has remained in hospital since she was arrested after the drowning of Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephen, 4, and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev before dawn Monday, police said.
Merdy, speaking in a weak voice, responded “yes” three times as Judge Archana Rao asked her procedural questions.
Merdy’s attorney, George Cooke, and a police officer stood nearby during the trial. None of Merdy’s family members appeared to be present.
“The defendant had admitted to her relatives that she had hurt her children,” Assistant District Attorney David Ingle said during the arraignment.
Rao ordered Merdy to be remanded and placed in protective custody and asked that she undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The first-degree murder charge she faces carries a life sentence without parole.
The charges came a day after Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Merdy was not mentally stable enough to lead a murder charge.
Before Monday morning’s horror, Merdy left her Neptune Avenue apartment with her three children, walked with them in the sand and allegedly drowned them in the surf, law enforcement sources said.
Video from the scene shows Merdy walking along the shore with her two older children, according to her criminal complaint, carrying the baby in her arms.
Police later found her two miles from the scene of the drowning near Brighton Beach seafront. She was spotted barefoot, soaking wet and walking across the sand in a robe.
A city coroner determined that all three children had died by drowning and their deaths were determined to be homicides.
According to the court document, Merdy “admitted that she hurt her children and that they were gone.”
Relatives said before the incident that Merdy had been acting erratically and was delirious.
Family members told authorities she suffered from mental health issues and may have struggled with postpartum depression following Oliver’s birth.
Merdy had filed at least two reports of neglect with the city’s Children’s Services Agency against her for not taking the children to school, but the disposition of the reports is unclear, law enforcement sources previously said.
Merdy is scheduled to appear in court again on September 20.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/16/nyc-mom-who-allegedly-drowned-3-kids-ordered-held-without-bail/ NYC mother who allegedly drowned 3 children ordered to be held without bail