A Kansas jury that convicted Jenna Boedecker on Friday of second-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child is seeking a prison sentence of more than 50 years.
On Monday, the jury recommended sentencing Boedecker to 22 years for each of the two second-degree murder convictions and a combined total of nine years for the endangering the welfare of child convictions, ABC 9 reports.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Boedecker told police that she fell asleep in her car on July 4, 2018, after she lost her house key. She said her daughters, 2-year-old Ireland Autumn Jane Ribando and 7-week-old Goodknight Berretta June Ribando, slept in the car with her after they couldn’t get into their Clay County home.
When Boedecker woke up the following morning, her children were unconscious. Emergency personnel pronounced the girls dead a short time later.
Court documents indicated that the victims were “killed by hyperthermia after being left in a hot automobile with inadequate care,” the Courier-Tribune reports.
Three hours before the children were found unresponsive, a social worker visited the residence to perform a welfare check after receiving a hotline call the night prior, at close to 11 p.m.
At around 9:30 a.m. and 9:40 a.m., the social worker knocked on the front door of the home several times but no one answered.
Boedecker’s husband, Joseph, told police that the night before his children died, his wife became upset when she thought he cheated on her, and subsequently threw a brick at him as he tried to drive away from their home.
She then smashed into his F-150 truck with her Jeep Patriot, causing damage to both vehicles. Authorities indicated that the damage to the vehicles was consistent with Joseph’s story.
Joseph said he drove to his mother’s house after the fight and didn’t hear anything about his children until authorities contacted him and told him his two babies had died.
“My husband left between 3 and 4 a.m. to get cigarettes and gas,” the defendant later told police. “He was in the field with some girl and never came back. I had the babies in the car because I didn’t want them to hear us argue. I dozed off for just a second. When I woke up I saw them and ran them to the neighbors.'”
Although the jury can recommend sentencing for the defendant, the final decision is in the judge’s hands.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 3. Boedecker remains behind bars at the Clay County Detention Center with a $5 million bond.
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[Feature Photo: Goodnight and Ireland Ribando/Family Handout]