Texas mom gets 45-year sentence for killing son
A Texas mother was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Friday for suffocating her 6-year-old son in a New Hampshire motel room and leaving his body along a dirt road in Maine.
Julianne McCrery, 42, told prosecutors she had planned to kill herself by eating castor beans and that she killed her son, Camden Hughes, because there was no one else to care for him.
But prosecutors told the Associated Press they have evidence McCrery, who lived in the Dallas suburb of Irving, wanted to get rid of her son because she considered him an impediment.
“He was a happy child full of life until May 14, 2011, until mother dosed him with NyQuil and took him from his bed in the middle of the night. This is the one person that Camden should have trusted,” Senior Assistant Atty. Gen. Susan Morrell told the Manchester Union Leader.
Morrell told reporters outside the courtroom Friday that evidence suggested McCrery may have intended to return to her life in Texas once her son was dead, according to the Union Leader.
“This case raises more questions then there are answers for,” she said.
Camden, according to his family, was a gifted boy who read beyond his grade level and loved going to the library, the Union Leader reported.
McCrery spoke tearfully at her sentencing hearing Friday, calling her son beautiful and brilliant, according to the Associated Press.
"I am sorry to have caused the intense pain and suffering to my precious son Camden," McCrery said before being sentenced 45 years to life in state prison in Rockingham County Superior Court. "He did nothing whatsoever to deserve that by my hand, and he was not an inconvenience to me."
She said her grief was "excruciating."
McCrery pleaded guilty in November to smothering her son by kneeling on him as he lay face-down on their motel room floor, covering his mouth with her hand.
After Camden's body was discovered in May, authorities launched a nationwide search, but they were initially thwarted because McCrery called the boy's elementary school daily to report him absent.
Four days after the body was discovered, McCrery was arrested at a Massachusetts truck stop after a driver in the area where Camden's body was found was able to describe McCrery's pickup truck.
When questioned at the truck stop, McCrery confessed to police that she had killed her son and left his body under a green blanket by the side of the road.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: Julianne McCrery arrives for her sentencing hearing Friday in New Hampshire. McCrery was sentenced to 45 years in prison for suffocating her 6-year-old son, Camden Hughes. Credit Jim Cole / Associated Press.