Massachusetts mom Lindsay Clancy said that she heard a man's voice asking her to kill her three children before she used her exercise ropes to strangle them, prosecutors alleged at her arraignment on Tuesday. Clancy, 32, pleaded not guilty during a court appearance held over Zoom as she lay paralyzed in her Boston hospital bed.
Clancy's own attorney described her new reality as a paraplegic at risk of suicide. Clancy, 32, has been charged with three counts of premeditated murder in connection with the suffocation of her three children on January 29 at the family's Duxbury home, 35 miles southeast of Boston. Her husband wasn't at home when she killed her three children.
Still Not in Her Senses
Clancy appeared in Plymouth District Court via Zoom from her hospital bed while wearing a neck brace and a face mask. She will remain in her current hospital until she is transferred to a rehabilitation facility, the judge ultimately decided.
Her attorneys claim that a combination of prescription pharmaceuticals converted her into a "shell" of herself and deprived her of her personality and capacity for feeling emotions. As a result, they claim, she suffered from severe sadness, postpartum depression, and even psychosis.
"[Clancy] was ... a beautiful person who was destroyed by this medication," her defense attorney, Kevin Reddington told the court, holding up the "wish vase" of notes full of hope for both herself and her children that was found near Clancy's bed.
He claimed that she was given medication, such as Prozac and Seroquel, that had homicidal ideation as one of its negative effects.
Clancy, who jumped from a second-floor window shortly after the murders, sustained spinal cord damage and is currently paralyzed from the waist down, according to Reddington. "She can't walk ...she can't even go to the bathroom," he said, noting that her emotional state was also "not well at all."
He added that before the incident, Clancy told a psychologist she had heard a "male voice" asking her to kill the children and herself.
Clancy, who remained silent throughout the trial, appeared to close her eyes briefly as the prosecution said she was "lucid" before the killings.
Unlike a Mother
Prosecutors also alleged that she knew exactly what she was doing and had even planned it out. They said that Clancy allegedly "created" a scenario in which her husband Patrick was gone from their house for around 20 minutes while she had time to choke all three of their children.
Patrick Clancy went home to "silence" and discovered blood and an open window in the couple's upstairs bedroom before finding his hurt wife on the lawn, according to Plymouth Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sprague.
When Patrick later found his kids in the finished basement, they were all still wearing exercise bands around their "little necks," as the state's attorney painstakingly detailed.
The prosecutor claimed that the distraught father's shouts "seemed to get louder and louder" as he spoke with 911 dispatchers. He allegedly shouted, "She killed the kids!" when emergency personnel arrived on the scene.
Later that evening, Cora and Dawson were declared dead, while Callan passed away at Boston Children's Hospital three days later.
They also cited notes in which she expressed "resenting" toward the two elder children for preventing her from "loving Callan like he was her first baby."
They also pointed out that she would have needed to strangle each child with the exercise bands for a number of minutes before they stopped breathing.
"The bands had to have been squeezing their minds for several minutes. She could have changed her mind," they said, calling it a "premeditated" crime with "extreme cruelty."
They claim that Clancy requested whether she required a lawyer as soon as she arrived at the hospital, writing the query on a whiteboard with a pen because she was intubated at the time.
Additionally, they stated that she had been acting normally all day long prior to the incident, taking her children to the pediatrician before entertaining them at home. Clancy will be allowed to remain in the hospital before being moved to a rehabilitation facility. Her passport had to be turned in, per the requirement.
Clancy cut her wrists after abusing the kids, leaped out of her bedroom window, and landed in the family's backyard.
The judge decided that another hearing would be required to decide her custody situation if she left rehab before the trial. The three Clancy children were all laid to rest on February 3 at St. Mary of the Nativity in Scituate.