A Tennessee judge has on Tuesday February 8, 2022 handed down a 50 years life sentence to Shanynthia Gardner, for fatally stabbing four of her own children, despite testimony that she was mentally ill.
Local Memphis station WATN reports that Judge James Lammey ruled that Shanynthia Gardner would be eligible for parole after serving 51 years. The judge in December, 2021 had found Gardner guilty on 20 counts including first-degree murder, child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment while in a non-jury bench trial as Lammey rejected her insanity defense.
So on July 1, 2016, Shanynthia Gardner stabbed her four youngest children ( Tallen; 4-year-old, Sya; 3-year-old, Shavi; 2-year-old, and Yahzi; 6-month old Yahzi at the family’s apartment. Her eldest child, who was 7, ran to a neighbor’s house for help that was how she survived.
Martin Gardner, the children’s father, testified at the trial that he didn’t see any signals that something was wrong. According to local station KMOV, Shanynthia Gardner told him that she was planning to watch a movie with their children on the day of the stabbings.
Hower, Shanynthia’s sister testified that she had a history of mental illness that included episodes of paranoia, KMOV reported.
A medical expert also concluded in 2017 that Shanynthia Gardner was “mentally defective” when she murdered her four children.
Shanynthia’s friends and family said in 2016 that she went missing twice in the previous 18 months. In one incident, she took her kids out of school and drove them to Mississippi. But they have never knew her to be violent with her children.
According to WATN, the prosecutor agreed that Shanynthia Gardner was mentally ill but argued that she understood at the time that killing her children was wrong.
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