CONCORD, NH (AP) – An Irving woman accused of killing her 6-year-old son in New Hampshire and disposing of his body in rural Maine will plead guilty to killing him, court officials said.
Forty-two-year-old Julianne McCrery will plead guilty to
second-degree murder in the death of her son, Camden Hughes.
Her lawyers did not immediately return messages left by The
Associated Press. McCrery pleaded not guilty in May and has since
waived all other court appearances.
A Rockingham Superior Court clerk confirmed McCrery has filed a
notice of intent to plead guilty and will be sentenced to 45 years
to life in prison. No date has been set for her to formally enter
The discovery of Camden’s body under a blanket on a dirt road in
South Berwick, Maine, on May 14 launched a nationwide effort to
identify him. Even as that effort was under way, McCrery called his
Irving elementary school daily to report him absent.
Camden died of asphyxiation, according to a medical examiner. He
and his mother had stayed in a New Hampshire motel the weekend
before his body was discovered.
Texas public records show that McCrery was arrested at least
twice on prostitution charges and once for possession with intent
to distribute drugs. In 2009, she was sentenced to one year in
prison for a misdemeanor conviction of prostitution. In 2004, she
was sentenced to three years of probation for a felony conviction
of possession of a controlled substance.
Law enforcement authorities and friends have portrayed McCrery
as a loving but troubled mother whose mood swings often prompted
her to take lengthy road trips. It was on one of those trips, New
Hampshire prosecutors say, that McCrery killed her son at a
Hampton, N.H., motel. His body was found just over the border in
McCrery was arrested at a Chelmsford, Mass., rest stop on May 17
after being spotted by a trucker.
A lawyer who represented her at a brief court appearance in
Massachusetts has said he got the impression from McCrery that her
intent was to take her son’s life and then kill herself.
“I believe she was there to bring both herself and her son to
heaven,” attorney George Murphy said in May. “She told me, `I
love my son very much. I know where he is. He’s in heaven, and I
want to go there as soon as possible.”‘
McCrery’s mother, LuRae McCrery, said she did not know her
daughter was going to enter a guilty plea. She said they last spoke
about a week ago and that her daughter has sounded “real
depressed” in their last few phone conversations.
“I definitely think she needs some help,” LuRae McCrery said.
She said she’s also certain her daughter planned to kill herself
“She regrets that Camden’s gone. I think she regrets not
completing the act,” McCrery said. “I’ve lost them both, as far
as I’m concerned.”
Shirley Miller, a close family friend, said Wednesday that she
was still grappling with the death of the boy who called her
“We go to the store and see something we want to buy Camden,”
Miller said. “It’s a sad time.”
Miller said McCrery was a good mother and that only enhanced the
shock she felt at news of the boy’s killing.
“I still haven’t brought myself to writing her yet,” Miller
said. “I liked her so well in one sense, but I hate her actions.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)