A mom gets two life terms for the first-degree killing of her two children, a jury in Colorado decided on Tuesday.
The mom, Kelli Murphy, was convicted of two counts each of first-degree murder and first-degree murder of a victim under age 12, The Associated Press reported.
The Castle Rock mom gets two life terms for the conviction, a judge determined.
Prosecutors said the mom killed her two children, 6-year-old daughter Madigan and 9-year-old son Liam, in an act of revenge against her husband after the couple filed for divorce.
The mom gets two life terms on what would have been Liam’s 11th birthday. The Murphy family made note of that fact in a statement read to the jury:
“This is a sad day for us. We would have preferred to be celebrating Liam’s 11th birthday today. Instead, we would just like to offer our since sincere thanks to everyone involved in this case, including the Castle Rock police, the first responders, the numerous agencies that supported the investigation, and everyone in the DA’s office who worked tirelessly to ensure that justice was served, and who supported us throughout this long ordeal. We are also are profoundly grateful to the jurors on this trial for their service.
“Although nothing can make up for the loss of Liam and Madigan or fill the void that is left by their absence, we are thankful that this chapter is now over and we look to God to help lighten our hearts.”
Prosecutors said the killing was the vengeful act of a controlling mom, the Denver Post noted.
“This is a woman bent on control,” prosecutor Chris Gallo said during closing arguments. “Controlling her kids, her husband and her divorce … It was Kelli’s way or no way.”
Before the judge decided that the mom gets two life terms, Murphy’s attorney had asked jurors to consider a lesser sentence. The lawyer, Ara Ohanion, argued that Murphy was trying to kill herself by taking pills and drinking vodka and blacked out. When she came to, Murphy found that her children had been smothered to death but didn’t remember what happened.