NEWS

Amber Pasztor, U.S. Mother, Gets 130 Years In Prison For Killing Her Kids

She pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the murders of Lilliana Hernandez and Rene Pasztor.

06/29/2017 11:40 EDT | Updated 06/29/2017 11:41 EDT

GOSHEN, Ind. — A judge has ordered an Indiana woman who admitted to fatally smothering her two children to undergo mental health treatment before going to prison under a 130-year sentence.

Thirty-year-old Amber Pasztor of Fort Wayne told an Elkhart County judge she was sorry before he ordered the sentence Thursday morning. She pleaded guilty but mentally ill to two counts of murder in the deaths of 7-year-old Lilliana Hernandez and 6-year-old Rene Pasztor.

Pasztor abducted her children Sept. 26 from their custodial grandparents' home near Fort Wayne, prompting an Amber Alert. Their bodies were found the same day inside a stolen car parked behind the Elkhart Police Department, about 70 miles (110 kilometres) northwest of Fort Wayne. Pasztor had flagged down an officer and showed him the bodies.

"I do believe you're sorry," Judge Michael Christofeno told Pasztor. "But that unfortunately does not undo this horrific act."

Elkhart Police Department via AP
This undated file photo provided by the Elkhart, Ind., Police Department shows Amber Pasztor. A judge on Thursday, June 29, 2017, ordered Pasztor, who admitted to fatally smothering her two children in September 2016 to undergo mental health treatment before going to prison under a 130-year sentence.

The judge ruled that Pasztor, who has been diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic, was competent to stand trial after she underwent three psychological evaluations to determine whether she was able to assist with her defence.

Pasztor is also charged in the September shooting death of a former neighbour, 66-year-old Frank Macomber. Her children's bodies were found inside his stolen car.

Christofeno cited her use of alcohol, marijuana and synthetic marijuana as factors in his sentencing decision.

Will receive mental health treatment

Defence lawyer Peter Soldato told the judge that the killings would not have occurred if it weren't for Pasztor's drug use and mental illness.

"Essentially, she poisoned herself over the course of two years,'' Soldato said.

Soldato said a benefit of Pasztor's plea agreement is that she will receive mental health treatment.