A nanny has been convicted of murder after stabbing two children to death at their family’s luxury apartment in Manhattan.
Yoselyn Ortega killed six-year-old Lucia Krim, and her two-year-old brother Leo, while their mother was at a sibling’s swimming lesson and their father was on a business trip.
The 55-year-old’s lawyer had argued that her client had an undiagnosed mental illness – telling a court in New York she had hallucinated a devil’s order “to kill the children and herself”.
However, the jury rejected the insanity defence, which means Ortega faces life imprisonment rather than being committed to a mental institution when she is sentenced next month.
Prosecutors had argued that Ortega, originally from the Dominican Republic, had acted out of jealous hatred for the mother.
They added that the nanny’s attack in 2012 was prompted by anger at being asked to work too hard, and alleged she was overwhelmed by financial concerns because her son was enrolled in a private school.
Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg said: “She did it intentionally with a full understanding of exactly what it was she was doing – every stab, every slash.”
During the emotional seven-week trial, the jury heard from the children’s mother Marina, who described finding their bodies in the bathroom.
She told the court: “It was a scream you can’t imagine is even inside of you. I don’t even know where it came from.
“I just thought: ‘I’m never going to be able to talk to them ever again. They are dead. I just saw my kids dead.'”
Her daughter had been stabbed more than 30 times, and her son was stabbed five times.
Ortega had also stabbed herself in a failed suicide attempt.
When the verdict was delivered at the state’s Supreme Court, Ortega expressed no reaction – staring straight ahead. She later wiped tears from her eyes as she was led away from the courtroom.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said: “We hope now that this verdict will give the Krim family an opportunity to heal, to find some closure and to move on in their lives.
“Marina and Kevin have lived through the worst nightmare any parent could endure.”