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Woman charged with killing 3 sons appeals court order

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three young sons over a 13-month period has appealed a court order that she undergo a psychiatric evaluation. At issue is whether a confession made by defendant Brittany Pilkington can be used at her trial.

The Bellefontaine woman faces three counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of a toddler and two infants in 2014 and 2015. She has pleaded not guilty.

Pilkington's attorneys have argued the confession should be tossed after their experts concluded Pilkington has brain damage and a low IQ. Logan County Judge Mark O'Connor has ordered an independent psychiatric evaluation. That decision was upheld by an appeals court last month.

Pilkington's lawyers appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court Tuesday, arguing the evaluation would violate constitutional rights against self-incrimination.

Authorities allege Pilkington killed the toddler and two infants out of jealousy at the attention her older husband gave them at the expense of her and their daughter. Joseph Pilkington, 44, pleaded guilty in 2016 to a misdemeanor charge that he had sex with his wife before they were married when she was underage. CBS affiliate WBNS reported that the couple's relationship began when Joseph was dating Brittany's mother.

According to WBNS, Pilkington said in a recorded police interview that she smothered each boy with a blanket because she didn't want to see them suffering. Pilkington reportedly told police she was depressed and worried her sons would eventually become abusive toward women, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

"I wish I would have did it to myself instead," Pilkington can be heard saying to police on the recording.

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