Massachusetts mother sentenced for slitting kid's throats, burning home

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 02, 2015 11:52 PM

(Reuters) - A mother who turned up at a Massachusetts police station covered in blood and lighter fluid in 2012 was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison on Friday for slitting her two children's throats and setting their home ablaze, authorities said.

The Essex District Attorney's Office said that on Mar. 18, 2012 Tanicia Goodwin, 27, of Salem cut the throats of her 8-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, doused them in lighter fluid, then set their apartment on fire.

Goodwin pleaded guilty to two counts of armed assault with intent to murder, arson, along with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a child among other charges, the attorney's office said in a statement.

Attorneys for Goodwin could not be immediately reached for comment.

Prosecutors said that Goodwin left her son in the apartment, having earlier covered the sprinklers, smoke detectors and vents and removed the door knob from the front door to keep him from fleeing. She then took her daughter into another unit and left her on a couch, prosecutors said.

Firefighters found both children. The boy, who was still conscious, nodded when asked whether his mother had cut him, officials said.

Goodwin later walked into the Salem Police Department, smashed a window, and turned herself in, police said then. Her clothes were covered with blood and lighter fluid, and she agreed to be questioned, police said.

Goodwin's son was adopted by her cousin and the daughter is in her father's custody, prosecutors said. Both children have recovered physically, but suffer lingering emotional trauma from the attack, prosecutors said.

Goodwin was sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in state prison and will face five years of probation after her sentence, prosecutors said. Upon her release, Goodwin will be required to take a mental health evaluation and seek any necessary mental health treatment.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Michael Perry)