Prosecution: Woman planned the murder of her 3 children
PLYMOUTH, MA — A Massachusetts woman used exercise bands to strangle her three children in the family home in a well-planned attack while her husband took about 20 minutes to pick up and take medicine from a pharmacy, a prosecutor said during her arraignment Tuesday.
Not guilty pleas were filed on behalf of 32-year-old Lindsay Clancy, including two counts of murder, three counts of strangulation and three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Clancy, wearing a surgical mask over her face, was charged at Plymouth District Court away from the hospital, where she is recovering from a spinal cord injury sustained when she jumped from the window of the house. She will probably never be able to walk again, her lawyer said.
Judge John Canavan III did not set bail or send her to jail, but ordered that she remain in hospital until she recovered enough to be transferred to a rehabilitation center.
She didn’t speak except to say “Yes, Your Honor” when the judge asked if she could hear the proceedings.
The prosecution and defense painted very different pictures of Clancy, a labor and delivery nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in the weeks and days before she allegedly assaulted her children at the family home in Duxbury.
The children were found by their father with the exercise bands still around their necks. Cora, 5, and Dawson, 3, were pronounced dead at the hospital. Callan, aged 7 months, was also taken to hospital where doctors repaired his pulse but were unable to restore brain activity. He died a few days later, the prosecutor said.
The deaths have shaken the coastal town about 30 miles south of Boston.
The prosecution said Clancy acted and seemed normal to everyone she associated with, including her mother and husband.
On the day of the murders, she asked her husband if he wanted takeout and went online to gauge how much time it would take him to get to the restaurant and pick up medicine for the children from the pharmacy, prosecutor Jennifer Sprague said.
“She planned these murders, gave herself the time and privacy necessary to commit the murders, and then strangled each child in the place where they should have felt safest — at home with their mother,” Sprague said. “She did so with willful premeditation, extreme brutality and brutality.”
Defense attorney Kevin Reddington, who has indicated he is planning an insanity defense, painted a picture of a woman struggling with mental illness, who had been given a dozen drugs to control it.
“This is not a situation, Your Honor, that was planned in any way,” he said. “This was a situation that was clearly the product of mental illness.” Clancy may have suffered from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis, he said.
Reddington hired a psychologist to evaluate her.
The prosecution countered that Clancy had previously been evaluated by mental health professionals and was told she had no postpartum depression and no symptoms of postpartum depression.
Clancy’s husband, Patrick, forgave his wife in a post on a fundraising site to help with medical bills, funeral services, and legal assistance.
“She has been portrayed for the most part lately by people who have never met her and never knew who the real Lindsay was,” he wrote. “Our marriage was wonderful and grew diametrically stronger as her condition rapidly deteriorated. I was as proud to be her husband as I was to be a father, and I felt constantly lucky to have her in my life.