A Utah mother who killed six of her newborn babies and hid their bodies in her garage was sentenced to up to life in prison at an emotional hearing yesterday in which a prosecutor depicted her as an "incredibly indifferent and callous" murderer. The judge imposed a sentence against Megan Huntsman that went beyond what was called for in a plea deal because he was so repelled by the killings. Judge Darold McDade said that he heard about the case before it came to his courtroom and hoped it wouldn't be assigned to him. Huntsman, 40, told police she was too addicted to methamphetamine to care for more children during the decade when the babies were killed.
Police said she concealed her pregnancies, gave birth at home, and choked and strangled the children with her own hands just minutes after they were born. She killed six babies, and a seventh found in her garage was found to be stillborn. Huntsman has three surviving children, and she opted to not kill one of them because people found out about the pregnancy, the prosecutor said. She agreed to plead guilty rather than go to trial under an agreement that reduced her minimum possible sentence to five years but left fewer options for appeal. McDade departed from that deal, giving Huntsman a longer minimum sentence. A parole board will make the final decision on how much time she spends in prison. (Read more Megan Huntsman stories.)