Megan Huntsman, the Utah mother charged with six counts of first-degree felony murder in the smothering/strangling deaths of six newborn babies, today was sentenced to life in prison.
Charged with six counts of first-degree murder, the 39-year-old Huntsman has been held in Utah County Jail since April 13. Bail for Huntsman was set at $6 million.
According to police, the deaths occurred between January 1, 1996 and December 31, 2006. How Huntsman kept the murders of all these children a secret remains a mystery, but their deaths came to light in April when Darren West, her estranged husband, went to their Pleasant Grove home to retrieve some belongings.
Inside the garage, Miller wrote: West found the remains of a baby wrapped in plastic bags and a green towel and stuffed into a white box, sealed with electrical tape. Alerted to the grisly discovery, police later found six more infant corpses similarly stored inside other boxes.
Huntsman allegedly told investigators that she had killed six of the infants, while a seventh child was stillborn.
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AP has more on the sentencing:
Judge Darold McDade handed down the term for Megan Huntsman, who told police she was too addicted to methamphetamine to care for more children.
Huntsman, 40, pleaded guilty to six counts of murder in February. She said in court papers she wanted to take responsibility in the deaths.
The judge gave her the maximum sentence — at least 30 years and up to life in prison. A parole board will decide her release date later.
Police say Huntsman gave birth to the babies over 10 years, from 1996 to 2006, and strangled or suffocated each child immediately after birth.
A parole board will make the final decision on how much time Huntsman spends in prison. Prosecutors say she is likely to spend the rest of her life behind bars.
“It is a difficult case. Anytime six children are dead, it is difficult for us to negotiate at all,” says Utah District Attorney Jeff Buhman.
On April 13, 2014, Huntsman’s ex husband Darrien West found sevent infant bodies tucked away. Each baby was wrapped in shirts and towels, placed in small boxes inside the family garage in Pleasant Grove.
Police soon turned to Huntsman who lived in West Valley at the time of her arrest. She told officers she either strangled or suffocated all six babies immediately after they were born. The seventh child was stillborn.
“With the number of children she killed and the heinousness of this offense. The board of pardons has a life sentence, six life sentences to work with. We will be very shocked if she ever gets out,” said Buhman.
Huntsman told police she killed the babies because she was on drugs and didn’t want to care for them.
“It was very difficult for a lot of the investigators and obviously it is things that as officers we don’t expect to see and hope we never see again,” Det. Dan Beckstorm of the Pleasant Grove Police Department.