Texas mother to plead guilty to son's murder, officials say

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 29, 2011 11:43 AM
Texas mother to plead guilty to son's murder, officials say

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) - A Texas woman accused of killing her young son and leaving his body on a Maine roadside has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder, prosecutors and court officials said on Thursday.

The body of Camden Hughes, 6, was found along a remote road in Maine on May 14 and was unidentified for four days until authorities tracked down his mother, Julianne McCrery, 42, at a Massachusetts highway rest stop and arrested her.

Prosecutors allege McCrery, of Irving, Texas, killed her son on May 14 in Hampton, New Hampshire and left his body, covered with a blanket, in South Berwick, Maine.

The cause of death was asphyxiation, and authorities charged the boy's mother with second-degree murder.

Authorities have not publicly disclosed what they believe may have led McCrery to commit the alleged murder. According to local media reports, family and friends said McCrery has a history of depression and multiple suicide attempts.

A notice of McCrery's intent to plead guilty to second-degree murder has been filed in Rockingham Superior Court in Brentwood, New Hampshire, a court clerk said.

A plea carrying a sentence to 45 years to life in prison is indicated in the paperwork, the clerk said.

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said the paperwork has been filed and a public court hearing is likely to take place within the next two months.

Police located McCrery at a Chelmsford, Massachusetts rest stop while following tips from the public about a blue pickup truck spotted near the child's body in Maine.

(Reporting by Zach Howard; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)