Utah mom accused of killing newborns appears in court

PROVO, Utah - Megan Huntsman, the Utah mother accused of killing six of her newborns, appeared in court briefly Monday morning and a judge approved her request for a public defender, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Police say Huntsman, 39, admitted to suffocating or strangling six of the seven dead newborns found in the garage of her former home April 12. She appeared in court wearing a prison jumpsuit, her hands and ankles shackled.

Police believe Huntsman concealed the pregnancies and gave birth to the children between 1996 and 2006 while she was living in the home in Pleasant Grove, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. One of the babies was stillborn, she told police.

Huntsman was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, but county attorney asked Jeff Buhman asked a judge for two more weeks to give his office more time to sort through evidence and ensure they choose the proper charges. Formal charges have yet to be filed, reports the paper.

Huntsman's newly-appointed attorney argued the delay was too long, and a judge scheduled her next appearance for April 28, reports the paper.

As the investigation into the case continues, many questions remain, including how and when the children died, and how Huntsman allegedly concealed the pregnancies and the killings.

Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said outside court that Huntsman remains the only suspect. Investigators believe her estranged husband, Darren West, is the father of the babies, though they are waiting on DNA results to confirm that. West isn't a suspect.

Neighbors have said they didn't suspect Huntsman was ever pregnant, and the Desert News reported that Huntsman also concealed the pregnancies of her three living children -the two eldest now around 18 to 20, and the youngest around 13.

No formal charges have been filed, reports the paper.