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Massachusetts woman gets sentenced to life in prison for "ritualistic" killings of her two young sons

Brockton mother Latarsha Sanders sentenced to life in prison for murdering 2 sons
Brockton mother Latarsha Sanders sentenced to life in prison for murdering 2 sons 01:41

A Massachusetts woman convicted of fatally stabbing her two young sons in what authorities called a "ritualistic" killing was sentenced Wednesday to a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentencing of Latarsha L. Sanders, 48, in Plymouth Superior Court came a day after she was convicted by a jury of two counts of first-degree murder in the February 2018 deaths of 8-year-old Edson Brito and 5-year-old La'son Brito. The jurors deliberated for about four hours, CBS Boston reported.

"Hopefully this is some form of justice for the dad of the little boys and the family," Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said after the hearing.

The defense had argued that Sanders was not mentally competent at the time of the killings.

"The family has been totally and completely supportive of Miss Sanders because they have recognized from day one that she was insane at the time that she killed her two children," defense attorney Elliot Levine said in court.

Police responding to a 911 call at the family's Brockton home on Feb. 5, 2018 found Sanders outside, distraught and combative, prosecutors said.

The boys were found in the family's third-floor apartment wrapped in bedding. They had each been stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife that was later found in the sink. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

"Sanders cleaned up the children, placed them in beds, and mopped up the crime scene," prosecutors said in a news release. "Sanders never sought medical attention for the boys."

Sanders told investigators that the killings had to do with "Voodoo stuff," according to a police report. Prosecutors later they said Sanders could have been motivated by money and planned to set up an online fundraiser for her family.

The father of the boys is in favor of the sentence, according to prosecutors

"The pain of the father, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandmother that pain falls on their hearts and that's a life sentence for them," said Judge Hon. William Sullivan. 

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