WASHINGTON — The Prince George’s County mother who suffocated her two young children by taping plastic bags over their heads was sentenced Wednesday to 45 years in prison.
Wearing double french braids and using a tissue to wipe away tears, 26-year-old Sonya Spoon spoke in a soft voice before her sentencing by Judge Lawrence V. Hill.
“I apologize to both my children Kayla and Ayden for taking their lives,” Spoon said.
While he acknowledged her remorse and discussions of her mental health came up during the hearing, Hill sentenced Spoon to the maximum possible sentence in her plea deal with the state, setting a sentence of 70 years in prison, with all but 45 suspended. That breaks down to 22 years and six months behind bars for the killing of each child.
Spoon pleaded guilty in March to killing her 22-month-old son Ayden and 3-year-old daughter Kayla in September 2014 by placing plastic bags over their heads, and securing the bags with duct tape, suffocating them.
Calling her actions “horribly wrong,” Spoon told Judge Hill, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
Pavi Spoon, Sonya Spoon’s mother, said her adopted daughter has a history of mental illness, although she’s never been given an official diagnosis. She is now on medication, she said.
Defense attorney Mirriam Seddiq also pointed to failures in the social services system leading up the children’s killings.
Shortly before killing her kids, Spoon was released from the hospital where she underwent a mental health evaluation after making threats against them, Seddiq said.
“And so people knew, doctors knew, the danger these children were in,” Seddiq said. “They knew the danger she was in. She was suicidal, she was homicidal.”
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said Spoon is ultimately responsible for the killings.
“She’s not a victim,” Alsobrooks said. “These children are victims. Now, could things have been done better? We sure wish they had so that these two kids could be alive.”
Spoon will be committed to Patuxent Correction and Mental Health Center in Jessup, Maryland, upon Judge Hill’s orders, which Seddiq called a surprise.
The post Md. mother sentenced to 45 years for toddlers’ killings: ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me’ appeared first on WTOP.