Mom convicted of killing 2 kids, insanity defense rejected

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman who claimed it was God's plan for her to kill her two children was convicted of murder Friday by a three-judge panel that rejected her insanity defense.

The guilty verdicts against LeRoya Moore, 39, came after a trial that featured conflicting testimony by psychiatrists for the state and defense about whether Moore was in a psychotic state during the 2015 killings at the family's home in East Haven.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 27, when Moore will face up to life in prison. A successful insanity defense would have resulted in Moore being sent to the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital.

Police said Moore killed her 6-year-old daughter, Aleisha, and her 7-year-old son, Daaron, and wounded herself. Moore stayed in the house with the bodies for about three days, authorities said. She told police she "saved them."

Autopsies showed the children died from antihistamine intoxication, but a defense psychiatrist said Moore told him she drowned them while trying to "baptize" them after God told her she was supposed to kill them and herself.

A Yale psychiatry professor, Dr. Paul Amble, testified for the defense that Moore suffered from schizoaffective disorder during the killings and continues to suffer from the disorder. A UConn Health Center psychiatry professor, Dr. Catherine Lewis, testified for the state that Moore has an antisocial personality disorder but was not psychotic at the time of the killings.

"The evidence clearly demonstrates that the defendant intentionally formulated a plan to kill her children, intentional and deliberate action to carry out that plan, and employed a methodology consistent with that intent and plan," the three judges wrote in their verdict.

Police said a note found near the children's bodies said the children had been in pain.

"I'm sure there's an expert somewhere that will say the children suffered, but I let them know they were very much loved and they were going to heaven," the letter said.