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Florida mother charged with murder after two children found dead, baby critically injured

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(CNN) — She stood there, injured and holding a knife, outside her Florida home.

That image is horrifying enough, but nothing compared to what police say they found inside.

All three of that woman’s children were unresponsive when officers encountered them Friday evening, including a 7-year-old girl who was reported dead soon thereafter, according to the Palm Bay police department. One of them, a 6-year-old boy, died later. A 5-month-old boy is seriously injured.

Their mother, identified by police as Jessica Lacey McCarty, didn’t comply to officers’ request that she drop her knife. So officers fired several “less lethal” bean bag rounds at her, after which she was taken into custody, according to police.

And on Saturday, Palm Bay police announced on the department’s Facebook page that McCarty was being charged with two counts of murder in connection with her children’s deaths. The 33-year-old woman is also facing an attempted murder charge regarding her infant son, who was in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

After initially being taken to a hospital after suffering what police called “non-life threatening injuries,” McCarty was moved to the Brevard County Detention Center, where she’s being held without bond.

Jessica Lacey McCarty2

Jessica Lacey McCarty

She will face a judge within 24 hours to address the charges, according to the Palm Bay post from around midday Saturday.

“A crime like this is beyond words,” police Capt. Josh Resh said. “It is unthinkable that someone could do this to innocent children.”

Authorities’ first indication of trouble came in a 911 call just before 6 p.m. Friday from a woman claiming to have killed her three children. McCarty’s boyfriend — the father of one of the children — placed his own call to police seconds later, after arriving home to the grim scene.

How and why did the children die? Authorities are waiting on results from an autopsy, scheduled for Sunday, to definitively figure that all out.

“We are still trying to verify the sequence of events, how and why they occurred,” Palm Bay police Lt. Mario Augello said. “… This is still a very active criminal investigation.”

Regardless, the episode shook those in the victims’ neighborhood in Palm Bay, which is about 70 miles southeast of Orlando on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

It started with the sirens and about 10 armed officers coming down the street, telling him to get inside, neighbor Davion Lewis CNN affiliate WESH.

But for neighbor Becky Johnson, learning why they had come was even more horrifying.

“It’s inexcusable, unthinkable, … shocking,” Johnson said. “You think of your own kids.”

5 comments

  • Remoir

    Got shot with bean bags while holding a knife where as a guy holding a screw driver gets shot to death. Crazy world.

  • Mel

    @Robert Martin

    This is not a story to make light of at all. That comment is sick. Postpartum depression and psychosis does exist and this woman may very well be suffering from the latter.

    That still doesn’t give her an out for this horrendous disgusting act of needless violence against innocent children. They did not deserve this and what the hell was wrong with the people around this lady!? You mean to tell us she didn’t act strange or at least hint something was wrong upstairs? ! The father seems strangely unshocked. But instead of making light of this wish these little angels well on their journey to heaven now. So sad. It makes all of us moms hug our kids a little harder. May the find rest in Gods loving arms.

  • beavis and butthead

    my condolences and prayers for the family left to suffer this horrible tragedy. I do have a question…why is there not pages of comments filled with outrage and calling for her to be hung…i guess toddlers lives don’t matter as long as the killer was white…that’s right, reserve your anger and judgement for the chest bumpers who park illegally …lol…white folks!!!!!

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