A California woman pleaded guilty to torturing and murdering her niece and nephew and then disposing their bodies in a storage locker
A California woman pleaded guilty to torturing and murdering her niece and nephew and then disposing their bodies in a storage locker.
On Wednesday, Tami Joy Huntsman, 42, admitted to the 2015 torture and murders of Shaun and Delylah Tara, who were aged 6 and 3 at the time, as part of a deal with prosecutors, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.
As part of her plea agreement, Huntsman, who CBS News reported was originally facing the death penalty, will instead serve consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.
“She’s going to die in prison. There will be no further appeals, no further litigation,” Assistant District Attorney Berkeley Brannon told KSBW, adding that because of the plea, the sister of the victims — who was also beaten by the couple — will be spared from having to testify in court.
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Huntsman and her boyfriend Gonzalo Curiel were arrested in December 2015, following an investigation into the near-fatal beating of the victims’ sister, who was 9 years old at the time.
A police investigation into the abuse led authorities to a storage unit in Redding, California, where they found the dead bodies of two children.
Huntsman and Curiel were later charged with two counts of murder, three counts of torture, one count of child abuse and two counts on conspiracy in Dec. 2015.
According to court records, the then-9-year-old claimed her siblings had been killed in November 2015 on Thanksgiving after she was caught stealing a bagel, reported CBS News.
The three siblings moved into the couple’s home after their mother was killed in a car crash and their father was sent to prison, according to the outlet.
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The Californian reported that prior to agreeing to a plea deal, Huntsman had pleaded not guilty.
Curiel, who was 17 at the time of the crime and is not eligible for the death penalty, has pleaded not guilty to two murder counts and two torture charges, according to CBS News. His trial is scheduled for April 2.