January 16, 1995 in Nation/World

Mother Faces Death Penalty In Killing Of Sons

Associated Press
 

A prosecutor will seek the death penalty against the woman who allegedly drowned her two little boys, then claimed they had been taken by a carjacker, her lawyer said Sunday.

Susan V. Smith is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of her sons, 3-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alex.

For nine days she said a carjacker had taken her car and her boys on Oct. 25. She and her estranged husband, David, pleaded for their return.

Then the boys’ bodies were found in her car, submerged in John D. Long Lake near Union, 60 miles northwest of Columbia, after police said they had obtained a written confession from her.

Solicitor Tommy Pope, who is prosecuting the case, said last week he would not reveal his decision on whether to seek the death penalty until a hearing today.

But Susan Smith’s lawyer, David Bruck, said Sunday Pope told him Friday of his decision to seek capital punishment if she is convicted.

Pope told The Associated Press he would not comment or confirm Bruck’s announcement.

In her two-page confession, Susan Smith said she was suicidal and “emotionally distraught” over unrequited love when she let her car roll down a boat ramp into the lake with her sons inside.

Susan Smith, who was divorcing her husband, said she felt she could not be a good mother, “but I didn’t want my children to grow up without a mom. I felt I had to end our lives to protect us all from any grief or harm.

“My children, Michael and Alex, are with our Heavenly Father now, and I know that they will never be hurt again. As a mom, that means more than I can say,” she wrote.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email