The mother of infant twins who died after she left them in her car while visiting a friend last month was charged Monday in West Orange County Municipal Court with two counts each of involuntary manslaughter and involuntary child endangerment.
Beverly Jean Ernst, 25, of Anaheim pleaded not guilty to the four felony charges filed against her in the deaths of her 3-month-old babies. The infants died of heat stroke July 20 after she left them unattended in her car in Garden Grove.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Wallace J. Wade, who is prosecuting the case, requested that bail be set at $25,000 because, he said, Ernst had been living out of her car before the infants died.
However, Robert Goss, the deputy public defender representing Ernst at the hearing, argued that she had known since her arrest July 20 that she might be facing a criminal trial and that she has remained at her mother's Anaheim home.
Municipal Judge Marvin G. Weeks, noting that the deaths were "a tragedy," released Ernst on her own recognizance.
Ernst shielded her face from television cameras and did not comment before leaving the Westminster courthouse.