CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado mother was convicted Tuesday of murdering her two children in a crime prosecutors said was revenge against her husband over their divorce.
Kelli Lynn Murphy, 43, of Castle Rock was found guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder after deliberation, and first-degree murder of a victim under 12 by a person in a position of trust.
The jury verdict came on the same day her son would have turned 11. A judge immediately sentenced Murphy to two life sentences without parole.
Prosecutors said Murphy smothered her 6-year-old daughter Madigan and 9-year-old son Liam in May 2011 as revenge against her husband after the couple filed for divorce. They said she was adamant about retaining sole custody of the children.
Murphy's lawyer Ara Ohanion wanted jurors to consider lesser charges, claiming her client had intended to kill herself and blacked out after drinking vodka and taking pills. Murphy woke up to find her children dead and doesn't remember what happened, Ohanion said.
Police went to Murphy's home after she told a 911 dispatcher she was going to commit suicide and that her children were in heaven.
The children's family released a written statement thanking prosecutors, investigators, supporters and jurors.
"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," the family said.