Kelli Murphy of Castle Rock was convicted Tuesday of two counts each of first-degree murder after deliberation and first-degree murder of a victim under age 12. A judge immediately sentenced her to two life sentences without parole.
Prosecutors argued she killed her 6-year-old daughter, Madigan, and 9-year-old son, Liam, as revenge against her husband after the couple filed for divorce.
Murphy's attorney Ara Ohanion wanted jurors to consider lesser charges. Ohanion argued Murphy intended to kill herself and blacked out after drinking vodka and taking pills. Ohanion said Murphy woke up to find her children dead and didn't remember what happened.
The following statement from the Murphy family was released after the verdict was read:
"This is a sad day for us. We would have preferred to be celebrating Liam's 11th birthday today. Instead, we would just like to offer our since sincere thanks to everyone involved in this case, including the Castle Rock police, the first responders, the numerous agencies that supported the investigation, and everyone in the DA's office who worked tirelessly to ensure that justice was served, and who supported us throughout this long ordeal. We are also are profoundly grateful to the jurors on this trial for their service.
Although nothing can make up for the loss of Liam and Madigan or fill the void that is left by their absence, we are thankful that this chapter is now over and we look to God to help lighten our hearts."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)