The Ohio attorney general had strong words of condemnation for the Logan County woman who pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing her three children.
Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement that the case against Brittany Pilkington, 27, has been emotional.
“A guilty plea cannot undo the heartless acts this woman committed against defenseless children – she does not deserve to be called mom,” Yost said. “But locking her up will at least guarantee she won’t be able to repeat this evil.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecution section assisted in prosecuting the case.
Pilkington pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter for causing the deaths of her three sons – Niall, Gavin and Noah, who died in July 2014, April 2015 and August 2015. The judge sentenced her Tuesday afternoon to two consecutive 15 years to life sentences for the murder charges and an additional seven years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter charge.
Pilkington must be imprisoned for at least 37 years before asking for release from the parole board.
The plea deal Tuesday came the same day a judge was expected to rule on whether Pilkington was eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors had been seeking the penalty for four years but Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart said new evidence indicated that wasn’t the right path.
“This resolution brings an end to a lengthy and complex prosecution that has gone on for over four years,” Stewart said in a student. “Initially, the indictment, in this case, included specifications for the death penalty, however, one of the State’s own experts advised that the death penalty was not appropriate in this case due to the mental defects of the defendant.”
The prosecutor’s office consulted with family of the victims, Bellefontaine Police Department and other professionals before making a decision, Stewart said.
“Everyone involved in the case, including investigators, family members of the victims, and this office believes that the two consecutive life sentences is a proper resolution which will bring justice and closure to this tragic case and protect the community from the defendant,” Stewart continued in his statement.
Stewart said the plea deal will allow for the family and the community to heal.
One member of Pilkington’s defense team — Kort Gatterdam, said Tuesday he’s hopeful that she’ll get the help she needs in prison.
“I think she’ll do well at (the Ohio Reformatory for Women) and hopefully one day the parole board will look favorably on her release,” he said.
Before the sentence was handed down — Gatterdam argued to the judge that specialists say Pilkington was a victim of physical and sexual abuse dating back to her childhood and she also suffered from lead poisoning.
“It doesn’t excuse her conduct, but by God, it does explain it,” Gatterdam said in court.
Other agencies involved in prosecuting the case include the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office. The Bellefontaine Police Department, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Logan County Children’s Services investigated the case.
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