Phoenix mother accused of smothering infant pleads not guilty

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Nina Koistinen By Jennifer Thomas Nina Koistinen By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix woman accused of smothering her newborn daughter has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Nina Koistinen, 36, entered the plea Monday morning in Maricopa County Superior Court.

On April 8, Phoenix police officers responded to a home near Thunderbird Road and 52nd Street for a 6-day-old baby who was not breathing. The infant was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Koistinen was arrested April 25 after an autopsy found possible signs of suffocation.

Detectives said Koistinen admitted to smothering Maya because she thought she had too many kids already and she was jealous of the attention her husband was giving the baby, according to court documents.

At Koistinen's initial appearance in court, her husband told the judge that she suffers from bipolar, schizophrenia and depression and they have tried for years to manage it.

Her next court date is June 21.