BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (WJW) -- An Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three sons out of jealousy at the attention given them by her husband — who was once her mother’s boyfriend — pleaded guilty Tuesday in the boys’ deaths and was sentenced to 37 years in prison.
Defendant Brittany Pilkington had been scheduled for trial early next year. The guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter and murder took the death penalty off the table.
Pilkington’s 3-month-old son, Noah, was found dead in August 2015 in the couple's apartment in Bellefontaine, in western Ohio. A 4-year-old son, Gavin, had died in April 2015, and another infant, Niall, had died in July 2014.
The Bellefontaine woman confessed the day Noah was found to killing the boys, saying she was jealous of the attention her husband paid to their sons but not to her and their daughter, Logan County prosecutors said.
Judge Mark Connor ordered that Pilkington’s sentences run back to back because of the seriousness of the crimes, a move advocated by prosecutors.
Pilkington, 27, suffered lead poisoning as a child followed by years of physical and sexual abuse with no intervention by authorities, said Kort Gatterdam, one of her attorneys. A scan identified brain damage.
Noah died less than a week after he was returned from protective custody on a judge's order. A prosecutor said authorities didn't have any evidence of a crime in the earlier deaths, and no one could have predicted the remaining son would die.