Attorney

Pianist's Wife Pleads Not Guilty at Arraignment Hearing

Arrest warrant says Tsygankova sought mental treatment the day before the girls were killed

The estranged wife of an internationally known pianist pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that she killed the couple's young daughters.

Sofya Tsygankova's attorney, Joetta Keene, entered the not guilty plea on behalf of her client at the arraignment, one day after she was formally charged with capital murder in the deaths of 5-year-old Nika Kholodenko and 1-year-old Michela Kholodenko.

Vadym Kholodenko discovered the bodies of his daughters last Thursday at the Benbrook home the children shared with their mother. Tsygankova had wounds on her wrist and chest and was first taken to a hospital for treatment before being transferred to a county holding facility Tuesday.

Details in an arrest warrant released Tuesday showed Tsygankova sought mental treatment the day before the girls were found dead.  An empty bottle of a prescription antipsychotic medication prescribed that same day was found inside the home.

Tysgankova is being held in the Tarrant County Correction Center on $1 million bond for each of the murder charges.

Following the arraignment, Keene, who was just added to the case, had no further comment about the charges but said she may have more to say next week.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said Tsygankova is undergoing a thorough medical and psychological screening and for now will be housed in a medical unit due to her injuries.

Nika and Michela were laid to rest in a private ceremony on Monday. A public remembrance ceremony was held Tuesday in Fort Worth.

NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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