Lorain Mother Drugged Kids, Plotted Murders

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) - A mother charged with drugging her three children plotted to drive the youngsters off a cliff, according to court documents.

Theresa Fennell, 34, of Lorain, has been indicted on three counts each of felonious assault and corrupting another with drugs. She also has been charged with endangering children.

Fennell has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

She is accused of crushing five tablets of the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam and putting it in pudding she fed to the children, telling them they needed to take the medication to protect them from catching bird flu at school.

According to documents filed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Monday, Fennell told a Lorain police detective that she gave her children, ages 4, 9 and 13, medication in September so they would "fall asleep in the car or become deceased."

"She advised she did this so the children would not be frightened or aware when she drove off of the cliff at Mill Hollow Park in the Vermilion area," the documents stated.

Fennell, who authorities say has been treated for depression, got upset and instead drove the children to a hospital where they were treated.