Hodges pleads innocent in connection of 2-year-old's death

LEWISTON, ID - A Lewiston woman made her first appearance in court Wednesday on the charge of murder in the first-degree.

Natasha Nichole Hodges was arraigned in court Wednesday, following the indictment by a grand jury in Nez Perce County of murder in the first degree. Hodges pleaded not guilty to the charge, stemming from the tragic death of two-year-old Rylee Mingo in August of 2012.

"Ms.Hodges I also need to inform you that the maximum possible penalty for murder in the first degree is life imprisonment or the death penalty can be imposed," said Judge Jeff Brudie.

Defense attorney Rick Cuddihy is now representing Hodges in this case. Both parties have entered into a discovery phase in the case as they prepare for trial. A scheduling conference is set for May 15th.