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Leatrice Brewer Update: Judge says N.Y. mother who killed her children is not entitled to piece of their estate

This combination of photos provided by the Nassau County Police Department shows Leatrice Brewer in 2003, and her children, Jewell Ward, and Michael Demesyeux, right. Jewell, 6, Michael, 5, and their brother Innocent Demesyeux, 1, were found dead Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 in the same bed in their New Cassel, N.Y., home after their mother, Leatrice Brewer, 27, called police claiming she killed them. On Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, a judge ruled that Leatrice Brewer, found not guilty because of mental disease or defect, will be taken from a psychiatric facility to testify about her request for a cut of the children's $350,000 estate in November 2013. AP Photo/Nassau County Police Department

This combination of photos provided by the Nassau County Police Department shows Leatrice Brewer in 2003, and her children, Jewell Ward, 6, and Michael Demesyeux, 5. They were found dead Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 along with their 1-year-old brother in the same bed at their New Cassel, N.Y., home after their mother, Leatrice Brewer, 27, called police claiming she killed them.
AP Photo/Nassau County Police Department

Updated 3:12 p.m. EST

(CBS/AP) MINEOLA, N.Y. - A judge has ruled that a Long Island mother found not guilty because of mental disease in the 2008 drowning of her three children is not entitled to a piece of their $350,000 estate.

Thirty-three-year-old Leatrice Brewer's bid hinged on whether her case applies to New York's "Son of Sam" law, legislation that was enacted in the 1970s following the capture of serial killer David Berkowitz. The law sought to bar him and other criminals from profiting from their crimes.

Brewer admitted she drowned the children in the bathtub of her apartment in New Cassel, on Long Island about 20 miles east of New York City, in February 2008. She later placed the children's bodies on a bed and tried to kill herself by swallowing a concoction of household cleaning chemicals. When that suicide bid failed, she jumped out her second-story window but again survived.

Instead of facing trial on three murder counts in the children's deaths, Brewer pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. Psychiatrists had determined she suffered a major depressive disorder and believed she killed the children, ages 1,5 and 6,  to save them from the potentially fatal effects of voodoo.

The money in question comes from lawsuits the fathers of the children settled with Nassau County over claims that social services workers failed to properly monitor Brewer.

Complete coverage of Leatrice Brewer's case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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