A Gainesville, Georgia mother has been slapped with consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole on Friday after pleading guilty to murdering her two children, aged 5 and 6, last year. 

Berenice Jaramillo-Hernandez, 26, confessed on Friday to brutally killing her children Mateo Miranda Jaramillo, 5, and Katherine Miranda Jaramillo, 6, in December, during tormenting testimony before Hall County Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden.

She was initially charged with four counts of felony murder and two counts each of malice murder, first-degree child cruelty, as well as aggravated assault under the Family Violence Act, Gainesville Times reported.

According to authorities, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office responded around 2 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2020, following a report that a woman had knifed herself at her Crescent Drive home. Police found the Jaramillo-Hernandez suspect with injuries to her neck and still armed with the knife she used to inflict the wounds on herself.

The blood-soaked bodies of two of her children were later retrieved in the home, lying next to each other in bed and adorned with face masks. A second bloodstained knife was located at their dresser. 

The court heard that the five-year-old boy was likely killed first by Jaramillo-Hernandez in his sleep as his 6-year-old sister observed the murder. The female victim then sought to get away but was not successful, left with the same fate as his younger sibling, AJC noted.

Autopsy results later revealed defensive wounds sustained by the bodies of the 5-year-old and six-year-old.

Responding officers said the walls and floor, as well as the household furniture, had some amount of blood transfer. These claims are strongly backed by photographic evidence obtained from the macabre crime scene last year. 

The woman has since confessed to law enforcement that she had slit the children’s throats with the knife recovered on their dresser. Jaramillo-Hernandez entered several guilty pleas in the deaths of the young victims in exchange for most of the charges being either merged or vacated, except for two counts of malice murder.

Sheriff’s Office investigator Jerry Phillips took the stand midday Friday. He played the 911 call where the deranged woman is heard offering a warning to the operator before describing the gruesome crime scene she made.

“Some of the photographs that are used in this presentation are very graphic, horrific,” Phillips warned the court. “As we get closer to those I will let your honor and everyone else in the courtroom know so that you can look away or step out or whatever you’d like to do.”

The father of the children is in Mexico and has been extensively assisting prosecutors with investigations. The bodies of the children were returned to Mexico for burial, Law&Crime noted.

According to Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh, the patriarch understands and agrees with the plea recommendation made in the court. 

“This was one of the saddest cases I’ve seen in decades of prosecution,” Darragh said following the sentencing verdict. “The finality of her guilty plea guaranteeing that she’ll never again see the light of freedom is a good result.”

young boy The mother killer, Berenice Jaramillo-Hernandez, 26, confessed on Friday to brutally killing her children Mateo Miranda Jaramillo, 5, and Katherine Miranda Jaramillo, 6, in December, during tormenting testimony before Hall County Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden. This is a representational image. PIXABAY