A Maine woman has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after she was convicted for fatally stabbing her parents and killing the family dog on Halloween 2016 following claims she was struggling with her gender identity.
The killings occurred around 1 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2016. Andrea Balcer, 20, born Andrew Balcer, claimed she stabbed her mother Alice Balcer in the back nine times, then killed her father, Antonio Balcer, after he came to investigate his wife’s screams. She said she had finally snapped after years of alleged abuse, as well as her parents' purported failure to support her gender transition, according to the Morning Sentinel, a newspaper that serves Central Maine.
Balcer also killed the family's pet Chihuahua at the same time to stop it from barking.
Her older brother, Christopher, who had also been home at the time of the murders but had escaped to a neighbor's house, refuted the claims she made against their parents and called his sibling an "inhuman creature" during her sentencing Tuesday.
Alice Balcer's brother, Carl Pierce, also doesn't believe that Andrea’s gender identity, or alleged abuse on the part of her parents, played a role in the crimes, the Morning Sentinel reports.
Pierce said the suggestion that her identity played any role in the crimes had was an “insult” the parents’ memory, according to The Associated Press.
"There was no hatred. There was no malice. There was no ill will. There was resignation to be sure but ultimately there was acceptance," he said Tuesday according to the Morning Sentinel.
Andrea Balcer pleaded guilty in September to the killings in a plea deal that capped the maximum sentence at 55 years in prison. While prosecutors had argued for the maximum sentence allowed under the deal, her defense team had hoped the judge would sentence her closer to the 25 year minimum because she had been just 17 at the time of the crimes.
During her sentencing Tuesday, she asked her family for forgiveness and apologized for the crimes.
"I made a terrible mistake, one that cost the life of the two people who made me and raised me," Andrea Balcer said in court, according to the Bangor Daily News. "Though no one may believe me, I am truly sorry for what I have done. I killed my parents."
She also said she hoped her "beloved brother Christopher" could "deal with his demons" and eventually be able to forgive her.
She had allegedly offered to kill Christopher on that fatal night in 2016, but he had told her he wanted to live and fled the bloody scene to a neighbors.
Christopher, now 27, said he continues to be haunted by his mother's screams and urged the judge to hand down a strict sentence.
"In my view, all leniency does is put a remorseless murderer back on the street," he said, according to Fox News.
Andrea Balcer called the police to report the killings the night of the fatal attack, telling authorities she finally had enough.
Justice Daniel Billings said that he didn't take her claims of struggling with her gender identity into consideration when determining the sentencing. However, he said he decided to hand down a 40-year sentence because of mitigating factors, including her age, good grades in school and willingness to admit her role in the crime, Fox News reports.
[Photo Credit: Associated Press]
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