Mother jailed for life after murdering her children in the midst of divorce
42 year-old Kelli Murphy, of Castle Rock, Colorado, has been jailed for life without possibility of parole after murdering her two children, six year-old Madigan and nine year old Liam. Prosecutors said she was distressed about her impending divorce.
She was found guilty of smothering the children in May last year.
Prosecutor Chris Gallo said:
“This is a woman bent on control. Controlling her kids, her husband and her divorce … It was Kelli’s way or no way.”
He claimed she had told her husband: “I want 100 per cent custody of the kids and 100 per cent of your salary. I’m going to make your life hell.”
Her defence attorney argued that the deaths had been accidental after she had drunk a full bottle of vodka. When she had awoken she had no memory of the murders. He had then cut her wrists in an attempted suicide.
Her attorney said she had felt abandoned and rejected because of the divorce.
This is a real tragedy of course, the female equivalent of those sickening acts of murder-suicide by vengeful husbands we occasionally read about in the news.
It is a tragedy not only for the husband’s family and the two innocent children who have lost their lives, but for the woman’s family too. She may live out her days in prison but her family have lost her as a real part of their lives just as surely as if she had succeeded in her bid to commit suicide.
Divorce can be one of life’s most stressful experiences and sadly and terribly for children caught in the crossfire, it seems that some people truly crack under the strain and commit acts of real evil.
Photo of Castle Rock town hall by Billy Hathorn via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
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