A 9-year-old girl’s heart-wrenching statement was read out to her mother’s murderer Tuesday.
Julie A. Corey was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday morning in Worcester, Mass, for the murder of Darlene L. Haynes in July 2009.
The prosecution and the jury found that three months after her own miscarriage, the defendant beat and strangled Ms. Haynes, killed her, and cut open her womb to steal an unborn baby from the 23-year-old victim.
The defense team announced Tuesday they will appeal the verdict, according to the Boston Herald.
In an emotional courtroom, one of Haynes’ four children, her 9-year-old daughter, had a brief statement read aloud by the judge: “I think it was mean to kill my mom. I think it was very bad that you did that.”
Mr. Haynes, the victim’s father who held her ashes in a gold tin, began to shake uncontrollably and broke down in tears as his granddaughter’s words were read by Worcester Superior Court Judge Janet Kenton-Walker, shortly before the final sentencing, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Corey did not testify at her trial and said nothing on the day of her sentencing.
Corey, her boyfriend and Haynes’s healthy newborn baby were found on July 27, 2009, by police, at a homeless shelter in Plymouth, N.H.
Corey’s defense lawyers did not dispute that Ms. Corey was found with Ms. Haynes’ baby, but they maintained during the trial that she had no role in Haynes’ slaying, as the prosecution alleged.
Corey’s boyfriend, Alex Dion, has testified that he took no part in Haynes’s killing and that he was tricked by Corey into believing the newborn was their own child, according to a local CBS news affiliate.
Ms. Haynes’ grandmother, Joann Haynes, who has been raising two of the victim’s children, said in a statement read in court before the final sentencing, “The hardest thing is seeing them grow up and not have their mother here with us. There are no words to put on paper to show or explain the hurt we are all going through, especially her children.”
The child, now 4, who miraculously survived being ripped from her mother’s womb, currently lives with her biological father, Roberto C. “Tito” Rodriguez, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.