UTAH (USA) – A mother who killed six of her newborn babies and hid their bodies in her garage was sentenced to up to life in prison Monday at an emotional hearing in which a prosecutor depicted her as an “incredibly indifferent and callous” murderer.
The judge imposed a sentence against Megan Huntsman that went beyond what was called for in a plea deal because he was so repelled by the killings. Judge Darold McDade said that he heard about the case before it came to his courtroom and hoped it wouldn’t be assigned to him.
Huntsman, 40, told police she was too addicted to methamphetamine to care for more children during the decade when the babies were killed. Police said she concealed her pregnancies, gave birth at home and choked and strangled the children with her own hands just minutes after they were born. She killed six babies, and a seventh body of a newborn found in her garage was found to be stillborn.
Police found the bodies wrapped in cloth, put in plastic bags and packed into boxes. She eventually moved out of the house and left the decomposing remains behind. She thought about moving the bodies, but said she couldn’t think of a way to do it without getting caught.
It remains unclear how Huntsman concealed the pregnancies, births and murders from family members and friends.
“These were very cold, calculated killings,” prosecutor Jeff Buhman. “She was a woman who was remarkably, unbelievably, incredibly indifferent and callous.”
Family members sobbed in the courtroom as Pleasant Grove police Detective Dan Beckstrom spoke about the killings.
Huntsman has three surviving children, and Huntsman opted to not kill one of them because people found out about the pregnancy, Buhman said.
Huntsman agreed to plead guilty rather than go to trial under an agreement that reduced her minimum possible sentence to five years but left fewer options for appeal. Prosecutors said it would have been hard to prove the case against her at trial if she hadn’t cooperated with police.
McDade departed from that deal Monday, giving Huntsman a longer minimum sentence.
A parole board will make the final decision on how much time Huntsman spends in prison. — AP