A bizarre and tragic story unfolded in Olympia during the weekend of Jan. 24, according to local law enforcement sources. A young Washington mother is facing criminal charges after she allegedly slit her children's throats, allegedly to "quiet them." This unusual case is still being investigated by police, but the woman still stands charged with attempted murder.
According to police records, the 28-year-old woman called 911 sometime on the weekend to inform emergency services that her children were crying inconsolably and required medical assistance. The three children, a 2-year-old and two 6-month-old twins, were found in various states of distress when authorities responded. The 2-year-old was found upstairs in bed, covered in dried blood, while the twins were on the main floor of the house with bloodied throats.
All three children were rushed to local hospitals for immediate care, including surgery. Thankfully, all three are expected to recover and will be safeguarded in protective custody upon being released from the hospital. The woman has been taken into custody and charged with attempted murder, though it should be noted that authorities have suggested severe postpartum depression as a possible trigger for this behavior in their probable cause filings.
Postpartum depression is a very real affliction suffered by many women all over the nation, as some Washington mothers can doubtless attest. While it does not necessarily constitute an excuse for criminal behavior, it may well be an important factor as these criminal charges are heard in court. One consideration, depending upon an analysis of the fully developed facts, may be to assess the viability of an insanity defense. While it remains to be seen how this case will be decided, defense attorneys may also elect to consider pursuing plea negotiations with prosecutors based upon what appears to be tragic extenuating circumstances.
Source: CNN, "Woman slashes her children's throats to quiet them, police say", Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, Jan. 28, 2015