SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The woman charged with murder for allegedly refusing a Caesarean section that doctors say would have saved her twins pleaded innocent Monday.

One of the babies, a boy, was stillborn. The other, a girl, survived and already has been adopted.

Melissa Ann Rowland, 28, appeared in court via video from jail. Her attorney entered an innocent plea for her.

Prosecutors have said she ignored repeated recommendations that she get a C-section. They said she did not want a scar from the surgery.

Rowland denied that she refused a C-section. She said she was told during repeated hospital visits that her babies were fine and was never told she needed emergency surgery.

Rowland also faces child endangerment charges over the surviving baby, who was found to have cocaine and alcohol in her system. A drug test on Rowland also was positive for cocaine, according to court documents.

She acknowledged in an interview that she has twice attempted suicide and has spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

District Attorney David Yocom said Sunday he was not aware of news reports that Rowland, jailed since giving birth, had attempted to sell one of the babies to raise money for bail.

A Sacramento couple interested in adopting a child told the Deseret News that Rowland offered to give them the child if they paid her bail.

In a jailhouse interview Friday with The Associated Press, Rowland denied trying to sell the baby.

Rowland has been previously convicted of child endangerment, stemming from a 2000 incident in which she punched another daughter for eating a candy bar in a store without paying for it.

AP-ES-03-15-04 1625EST



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