PLYMOUTH, Conn. (WTNH) — A Terryville woman accused of fatally shooting one of her children and injuring another faced a judge on Monday.
According to Naomi Bell’s attorney, the 43-year-old never had a problem with the law, or her mental health, until recently. Now, all that has changed.
Bell has now been charged and arraigned on murder and attempted murder charges in the shooting of two of her own children. She said nothing as the case was heard in a virtual arraignment hearing in New Britain court.
Bell is accused of shooting two of her children Friday night inside their home in the Terryville section of Plymouth. Her 7-year-old was critically wounded but survived. Her 15-year-old did not survive.
Jassette Henry, Bell’s public defender said in court Monday, “She does have strong family ties and a lifelong community connection.”
Henry said her client had never had mental health trouble until recently when something happened and she suddenly needed intense psychological care.
“She does report recently that she’s had two psychiatric episodes that she was hospitalized for more than two weeks,” said Jassette Henry, Public Defender.
According to court documents obtained by News 8, the victims’ father gave a statement to investigators. He wasn’t home at the time of the shooting, but away with their other son at a basketball game in Bristol.
“At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, [she] became extremely depressed and was having delusional thoughts,” he told investigators. “She was on medication for depression and psychotic episodes.”
He added, he and all his kids noticed a difference.
READ: Investigation Report
Bell has no criminal history and did not have a pistol permit.
She grew up in Seymour and went to the University of Hartford. She had been a molecular biology associate and she worked in a research lab for about seven years. And until a few months ago, she worked as a substitute teacher in a local school.
Her attorney argued for a reduction in bail. Prosecutors argued against that, saying if found guilty, she could be facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The judge decided to keep the bail where it is, set at $2.5 million.
Additionally, the judge issued protective orders for three people who were only identified by their initials in court documents.
Meanwhile, a memorial for Bell’s children continues to grow outside their home on North Main Street.
A virtual vigil was held for the children Sunday night. Local clergy at Terryville Congregational Church played music, offered prayers and lit candles for the victims.
“In times like this, what’s called for is compassion,” the pastor said. “I understand that it’s hard to have compassion for the perpetrators of violence, so I’m going to ask you to focus on the victims, on the survivors.”
Bell will be back in court on Jan. 12 for a probable cause hearing.