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Colorado mom guilty of killing 2 kids

Nov. 27, 2012 at 9:41 PM   |   Comments

CASTLE ROCK, Colo., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A jury Tuesday convicted a 41-year-old Colorado woman of smothering her two young children while she was going through an acrimonious divorce.

Douglas County District Judge Vincent White immediately sentenced Kelli Murphy of Castle Rock to two terms of life in prison without the chance of parole, The Denver Post reported.

Murphy was convicted of killing Liam, 9, and Madigan, 6, at their home in May 2011.

Prosecutor Chris Gallo said during the trial that Murphy had told her estranged husband Robert Eric Murphy she wanted "100 percent custody of the kids and 100 percent of your salary."

"This is a woman bent on control," the Post quoted Gallo as saying during closing arguments. "Controlling her kids, her husband and her divorce ... . It was Kelli's way or no way."

Her defense attorneys contended the children died accidentally after she had blacked out from drinking alcohol and taking pills, the newspaper said.

Defense attorney Ara Ohanion said Kelli Murphy had intended to kill herself. Ohanion said she awoke to find the children dead, and then cut herself.

"No mother who loved her children the way Kelli did would do this intentionally or knowingly," said Ohanion, who asked the jury to find her guilty of reckless manslaughter.

Instead, the nine men and three women convicted her of two counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and two counts of first-degree murder of a victim under 12 years old.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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