BLACKSTONE (CBS) – Erika Murray, the mother who was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of two infants who were found inside her squalid Blackstone home, was sentenced Thursday to 6-8 years plus probation on two charges in the case.
Murray was found guilty of assault and battery on a child and cruelty to animals in June. Judge Janet Kenton Walker found Murray not guilty of second degree murder in the bench trial due to her mental health issues.
“I have to take into account that the normal does not necessarily apply,” Walker said Thursday at sentencing, adding, “There is nothing about this case that is normal.”
Murray has already served nearly five years following her arrest. She will get credit for time served plus 2-3 more years. When she is released, Murray cannot have contact with children under 10 years old.
Prosecutors recommended 4.5 years in prison for assault and battery and 2.5 years for animal cruelty. The prosecution also asked for five years probation and for Murray to have no contact with children under 18 years old for a period of 10 years.
Murray’s defense asked for less than 18 months for the assault and battery charges and probation for animal cruelty.
After Murray was sentenced, defense attorney Keith Halpern said he believed Walker could have let Murray go with time served.
“Would it have been reasonable for her to get a sentence of five years and walk out today? Yes. She’s going to do a little bit more,” he said.
State Police discovered the bodies in September 2014 while performing a wellness check. They say the house was full of trash and infested with insects and rodents.
During the bench trial, prosecutors argued Murray knew what she was doing and lived a life of secrecy. Murray’s attorney said previously his client is mentally ill and that there’s no evidence she caused the baby’s death.
“This case involves a senseless, tragic story about a dysfunctional parent and her family. Regardless of how disturbing the facts of this case are to the community at large and to me as a parent, I cannot take into account those feelings,” Walker said while announcing her verdict in June.