NAMPA, Idaho – A 41-year-old Nampa woman who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder after beating her mother to death with a hammer has been sentenced to life in prison in a case where another family member called the murder victim the monster.
Kelly A. Singh was sentenced Friday in 3rd District Court and must serve at least 20 years before becoming eligible for parole, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported. Singh pleaded guilty in October to the Feb. 28 killing of Ruth Collins in the home they shared in Nampa in southwestern Idaho.
But Singh’s siblings defended Singh. Judge Juneal Kerrick said she’d never seen an entire family support the killer while showing no regret for the death of the victim.
Vickie Uhl said she and other siblings severed all ties with Collins years ago and had encouraged Singh to do the same.
“It’s just so tragic, and our tragedy continues,” Uhl told the newspaper during a phone interview from Ohio. “When do we get to stop being victimized by that monster? She’s going to haunt us to our deaths. And the monster isn’t Kelly, the monster is Ruth.”
Uhl also offered a victim impact statement to the court: “If you’ve endured a lifetime of abuse, then you move back home, you turn into that little child all over again. I know this for a fact because just being forced to re-live the memories has made me feel like I’m a little kid being abused all over again. Kelly did not plan on killing Ruth. Her fragile emotional state completely snapped.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ellie Somoza in court emphasized the violence of the attack, hitting the courtroom lectern with her fist 14 times to mimic the number of hammer blows to the head Singh delivered to her mother.
Kerrick also took into consideration a court-ordered pre-sentence report that suggested Singh and her siblings and half-siblings endured years of physical and emotional abuse by Collins.
“Believe me, I have so much sympathy for you, because of this deprived and emotionally barren childhood that seems compounded by your adult life,” Kerrick told Singh at the sentencing.
Uhl said of Singh: “I just wish so much that she could have been like the rest of us. We’ve gone on to be good, decent, normal, productive people. And Kelly just couldn’t do it. She just couldn’t do it. And it just breaks my heart, because prison is not where she belongs. She needs help, but that’s not what she’s going to get in prison.”