Teacher pleads not guilty in chloroform case

June 1, 2011 6:30:25 PM PDT
A Central California high school chemistry teacher accused of giving chloroform to students and making nitroglycerin in her classroom remains behind bars after pleading not guilty.

Japhia Smith Huhndorf entered her not guilty plea on Wednesday by a remote video hookup from Merced County Jail.

Defense Attorney Ernest Tuttle asked for a reduction in Huhndorf's $500,000 bail to $50,000, but the judge denied the request.

The 34-year-old Livingston High School teacher is charged with one felony count of possessing a destructive device and five counts of felony child abuse. She allegedly gave the anesthetic to three students.

Livingston police say they're still interviewing students who attended Huhndorf's classes.