Mom accused of killing her three children pleads not guilty

Blurry shadow of a woman with postpartum depression pushing a baby trolley on the cracked asphalt suburban park road in black and white (Getty 1/30/23)

(NewsNation) — A Massachusetts woman accused of killing her three children using exercise bands was arraigned Tuesday.

Lindsay Clancy is facing two counts of murder, three counts of strangulation and three counts of assault after authorities say she killed her two older children, Cora, 5 and Dawson, 3, and severely injured her 7-month-old, Callan, who died a few days later at the hospital.

Clancy’s husband found her outside the home after it is believed she jumped out of a second-story window in a suicide attempt. Clancy remains hospitalized and appeared in court for the arraignment via Zoom from her hospital bed.

The prosecution and the defense painted widely divergent pictures of Clancy, a labor and delivery nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The prosecution said Clancy behaved and appeared normal to everyone she interacted with, including her mother and husband.

On the day of the killings, she asked her husband if he wanted takeout and went online to measure how much time it would take him to get to the restaurant and pick up some medicine for the children at the pharmacy, prosecutor Jennifer Sprague said.

“She planned these murders, gave herself the time and privacy needed to commit the murders, and then she strangled each child in the place where they should have felt the safest — at home with their mom,” Sprague said. “She did so with deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity and cruelty.”

Defense attorney Kevin Reddington, who has indicated that he plans an insanity defense, painted a picture of a woman struggling with mental illness, who had been prescribed several medications to try and control it.

“This is not a situation, your honor, that was planned by any means,” he said. “This was a situation that was clearly the product of mental illness.” Clancy may have been suffering from post-partum depression or post-partum psychosis, he said.

A “not guilty” plea was entered on Clancy’s behalf.

The judge on the case did not set monetary bail or send her to jail, but ordered she remain in the hospital until she is well enough to be moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Postpartum psychosis is an extreme mood disorder that occurs in one or two out of every 1,000 deliveries, according to Postpartum Support International. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations and paranoia, and it can lead to thoughts of suicide or homicide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

If you or a loved one are experiencing mental distress, please call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.


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