Gainesville mom gets life sentence in children’s ‘horrific’ stabbing deaths

Berenice Jaramillo-Hernandez

Credit: Hall County Sheriff's Office

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Berenice Jaramillo-Hernandez

Credit: Hall County Sheriff's Office

A Hall County mother who fatally stabbed both of her young children last December will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Berenice Jaramillo-Hernandez, 26, was given two consecutive life sentences Friday for the brutal slayings of 5-year-old Mateo Miranda Jaramillo and his 6-year-old sister, Katherine, prosecutors said.

“It was a horrific case, the saddest I’ve seen in 40 years of prosecution,” Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ExploreGainesville mom charged with murder in stabbing deaths of 2 children

Deputies responded to the family’s home on Crescent Drive near Gainesville about 2 p.m. Dec. 11 after receiving a call about an injured woman, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said. They arrived to find the blood-soaked bodies of the two siblings lying next to each other in bed.

Their mother was bleeding from the neck when deputies arrived, but investigators determined her stab wounds were self-inflicted, authorities said at the time.

A sheriff’s office investigator testified Friday that deputies found blood in “just about every room of the house,” Darragh confirmed. Gruesome photographs of the crime scene were also shown in court.

On Jaramillo-Hernandez’ dresser, police discovered a note outlining her plans to kill the children and herself, investigators testified. She later admitted to the fatal stabbings during an interview with police.

Based on the evidence, it appeared Jaramillo-Hernandez killed Mateo first before turning the knife on her daughter, authorities said, adding that defensive wounds were discovered on both children.

Jaramillo-Hernandez entered several guilty pleas in her children’s deaths, all of which were merged or were vacated except for two counts of malice murder, Darragh said Saturday, “in acknowledgement of each child’s death.”