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Massachusetts woman receives life sentence for 'ritualistic' killings of sons

The 48-year-old woman was sentenced a day after being convicted by a jury of two counts of first-degree murder in the February 2018 deaths of her sons.
Credit: Credit: Zolnierek
Federal court sentencing

BROCKTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts woman convicted of fatally stabbing her two young sons in what authorities called a “ritualistic” killing was sentenced Wednesday to a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentencing of Latarsha L. Sanders, 48, in Plymouth Superior Court came a day after she was convicted by a jury of two counts of first-degree murder in the February 2018 deaths of 8-year-old Edson Brito and 5-year-old La’son Brito.

“Hopefully this is some form of justice for the dad of the little boys and the family,” Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said after the hearing.

The defense had argued that Sanders was not mentally competent at the time of the killings.

“The family has been totally and completely supportive of Miss Sanders because they have recognized from day one that she was insane at the time that she killed her two children,” defense attorney Elliot Levine said in court.

Police responding to a 911 call at the family's Brockton home on Feb. 5, 2018 found Sanders outside, distraught and combative, prosecutors said.

The boys were found in the family's third-floor apartment wrapped in bedding. They had each been stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife that was later found in the sink. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

“Sanders cleaned up the children, placed them in beds, and mopped up the crime scene,” prosecutors said in a news release. “Sanders never sought medical attention for the boys.”

Sanders told investigators that the killings had to do with “Voodoo stuff,” according to a police report.

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