Mom who killed 3 children gets life sentences

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- In less than 15 minutes on Thursday, a Brevard County judge heard from Jessica McCarty and her mother, before sentencing her to life in prison.  McCarty was choking back tears as she told a judge she was pleading guilty to three counts of murder in the stabbing deaths of her three children, and to a plea deal of three consecutive life sentences. In return, the state took  the death penalty off the table.

Last March, police say McCarty killed all three kids then was trying to kill herself. Police say they think McCarty tried to get them to shoot her but instead they hit her with non-lethal beanbag rounds.

McCarty's mom told the court her daughter was a good mom.  Patricia Null said, "She loved them very much and her children loved her in return. I don't know what happened on that fateful day in march, you don't know either, but more importantly Jessica does not . She is grieving for her children as much as we are. "

McCarty's mom and her lawyer say McCarty tried reaching out to mental health agencies several times before the murders.  Prosecutors felt life in prison was appropriate in this case for a number of reasons.

The lead prosecutor told FOX 35 News after the sentencing, "What we were able to determine is that she may not be a monster. Law enforcement,  because of her desire to kill herself, felt punishment would actually be higher if she spent the rest of her life in prison. There were some family members that felt this way as well."

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