MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TCD) -- A 34-year-old woman who fatally stabbed four of her five children in 2016 will spend the rest of her life in prison.
In a Feb. 8. statement, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office announced Shanynthia Gardner was sentenced to life in prison. Gardner was convicted in December during a bench trial, which means no jury was present. According to the District Attorney’s Office statement, Judge James Lammey Jr. determined Gardner "could appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions when she stabbed to death four of her children whose ages ranged from four years to five months."
Her 7-year-old son reportedly fled the apartment and sought help.
The District Attorney’s Office said Gardner sought an insanity plea, but prosecutors said she knew what she was doing. She was convicted of four counts each of premeditated first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, murder in the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated neglect involving a deadly weapon, and murder in the perpetration of aggravated child neglect involving a deadly weapon.
The District Attorney’s Office identified the four victims as Tallen, 4, Sya, 3, Sahvi, 2, and Yazhi, 5 months.
According to WMC-TV, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a stabbing call on July 1, 2016, at the Greens at Irene apartment complex. Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Earle Farrell said at the time, "Deputies got there and found four small children. They checked the pulse and found none."
The Department of Children Services confirmed to WMC that they did not have any prior history with Gardner or her family before the stabbings.