A New York City nanny who stabbed two children to death while their parents weren't home was convicted of murder Wednesday after a jury rejected her insanity plea.
Yoselyn Ortega, 55, was convicted of killing 6-year-old Lucia Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim in October 2012. She stabbed Lucia 30 times and little Leo five times. Jurors in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan decided Ortego understood the consequences of her actions when she slayed the children.
Ortega showed no emotion when the verdict came down. She kept quiet through most of the trial, but shook her head and uttered "no" at one point when a witness testified the Krim family had treated her well.
The children's mother Marina Krim was taking their sibling Nessie, 3, to a swimming lesson when the murders happened in the family's Upper West Side apartment. She came home to find Ortega and her two bloody children in the bathtub. The children’s father, Kevin Krim, was on a business trip.
Krim "was bent over the child, screaming, holding on to the only live child she had," neighbor Charlotte Friedman told Newsday in 2012. "She was traumatized. She was deeply traumatized. And those screams were definitely primal screams because they were not even human; they were very deep, dark screams."
Ortega’s lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, never disputed that Ortega murdered the two children, but she offered an insanity defense. In her closing arguments, she stated that mental illness “does not announce itself like a bad cough or a limp. Sometimes it sneaks up and nestles in before anyone takes notice,” the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors argued Ortega not only knew what she was doing, but committed the murders out of spite and jealousy for the family employing her.
“She did it intentionally with a full understanding of exactly what it was she was doing — every stab, every slash,” Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg said during closing arguments.
The children's father rejoiced at the verdict.
“These jurors went through hell,” Kevin Krim wrote on Facebook Wednesday night. “I hugged every one of them I could. If you want your faith in humanity (and especially the courage and intelligence and dignity of New Yorkers) renewed, watch some of the jurors answering questions."
Ortega has a sentencing hearing next month. She could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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