OGDEN -- A 27-year-old Ogden woman who pleaded guilty to murdering one of her infant sons was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in prison.
Jewell Hendricks told 2nd District Judge Michael DiReda she is sorry for killing her 2-month-old son, Robert, but added she is not a calculating killer.
"I have to live with this for the rest of my life," she said. "I'm not a cold-blooded murderer. I loved him, no matter what."
However, Deputy Weber County Attorney Dean Saunders said Hendricks smothered Robert while letting his brother, Daniel, live because she believed it would be easier to raise just one child.
Ryan Bushell, Hendricks' attorney, countered that his client does not have the mental capacity of a normal adult, suffered from postpartum depression and sleep deprivation and was stressed out about a pending eviction from her residence.
DiReda said the case is tragic for Hendricks, her victim, surviving son and family.
"This is a case that involves profound sorrow," he said. "This is a sorrow that's difficult to quantify."
June Morgan, who is Hendricks' grandmother, said Hendricks doesn't have the ability to control her impulses and at the time of the homicide was overwhelmed by her circumstances.
"She had no money and was getting evicted," Morgan said.
Phillip Hendricks, Hendricks' husband, said his wife is very important to him.
"Without her, I wouldn't be here," he said. "I love her so much."
He asked DiReda for permission to hug his wife before she was led out of the courtroom by bailiffs following sentencing, but the request was denied.
Hendricks was charged with killing Robert on Jan. 24, 2010. She also was charged with class A misdemeanor child abuse for bruises found on Daniel, since adopted out of the family through juvenile court proceedings.
The misdemeanor charge was dismissed in return for the guilty plea to murder.
Hendricks told police she suffocated Robert because of his crying, afraid it might wake her sleeping husband. She showed officers how she held the child and how she sat on the couch when she stopped his breathing.
Her husband has never been suspected of any involvement in the infant's death, prosecutors have always said.