State

Modesto mother arraigned in stabbing

A Stanislaus County judge on Wednesday arraigned the Modesto mother accused of trying to stab her 13-year-old autistic son to death.

Anitra Hankins, 36, formally was charged with premeditated attempted murder and the enhancements of inflicting great bodily injury on her son using a knife. The court entered a plea of not guilty and denied the enhancements on Hankins' behalf.

Hankins' son, Miles, is in stable condition at a children's hospital, Modesto police Sgt. Rick Armendariz said Wednesday.

"We are very relieved that at this point, the victim has survived his injuries," Deputy District Attorney Annette Rees said.

Hankins answered several of Judge Dawna Reeves' questions and said she understood the charges lodged against her. But she stood in silence when asked repeatedly by Reeves if she could afford her own attorney.

"I'll take that as a no," Reeves said, before appointing an attorney to represent her.

Hankins called 911 Sunday evening to report that Miles was hurt. She refused to provide further details.

When officers arrived, they found the boy had been stabbed multiple times. He was lying in the hallway of his and his mother's West Rumble Road apartment with his feet bound with rope.

Miles was taken to a Modesto hospital where he underwent several hours of surgery.

Hankins also was arrested on suspicion of torture, but the district attorney's office did not seek that charge because a prosecutor must prove Hankins committed the acts for revenge, extortion or other sadistic purpose, Rees said.

Hankins remains in custody at the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on $580,000 bail. She will be back in court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at mbalassone@modbee.com or 578-2337. Follow her at twitter.com/modbeecourts.

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