An Indiana woman who stabbed her two young children to death after her husband asked for a divorce in 2016 has been sentenced to 120 years in prison.
Brandi Worley, 31, of Darlington, was sentenced Monday in a Montgomery County courtroom. The Journal Review in Crawfordsville reported that Worley was quiet as she learned her fate, and she did not make a statement.
The Indy Channel reported that Worley pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in January.
Worley stabbed her children, Tyler, 7, and Charlee, 3, to death in a bedroom of her family’s home while her husband, Jason Worley, slept downstairs. Jason Worley told his wife he wanted to end the couple’s seven-year marriage two days before the Nov. 17, 2016, slayings, according to authorities.
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Jason Worley took the stand during his now-ex-wife’s sentencing hearing, the Journal Review reported.
“For me, those children were my life,” Jason Worley said.
He described Tyler as a loving, energetic first-grader who loved sports.
“He was one of those (people) who could walk into a room of strangers and walk out with 20 new friends,” Jason Worley said.
Charlee loved dressing up and having her hair braided, her father said.
The murders came to light when Brandi Worley called Montgomery County 911 early in the morning on the day of the attack. When the dispatcher answered her call, she calmly told him what she did.
“I just stabbed myself and I killed my two children,” Worley says in the audio of the call, which was made public shortly after the murders.
“You stabbed yourself and killed your two children?” the male dispatcher repeats incredulously.
“Mmm-hmm,” Worley responds.
“Okay, and what’s your name?”
The dispatcher asks where the children are, and Worley, whose speech is somewhat slurred, responds that they are on the floor in her daughter’s room. The dispatcher continues asking questions between moments of silence, at one point asking Worley why she killed her children.
“My husband wanted a divorce and wanted to take my kids,” she responds. “I don’t want him to have my kids.”
Worley, who is calling from her living room, tells the dispatcher she stabbed herself in the neck.
“Are you bleeding?” he asks.
“Yeah, there’s blood everywhere,” Worley says.
Asked about her husband, she says he is downstairs in the basement. The dispatcher asks about Jason Worley’s condition.
“I don’t know, I haven’t talked to him,” she responds.
The dispatcher asks Brandi Worley what she feels, and she says she’s tired.
“I took a lot of Benadryl,” she says.
She tells the dispatcher that, prior to calling him, she called her mother, who told her to call 911.
Montgomery County prosecutors said that it was Jason Worley’s mother-in-law’s screams of horror that woke him that morning. He ran upstairs and found her in the kitchen, and his wife in the living room.
“That’s when I heard (Brandi) say, ‘Now you can’t take my children from me,” Jason Worley said, according to the Journal Review.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Joe Buser laid out a timeline of what happened, saying that Jason Worley told his wife he wanted a divorce on Nov. 15. The following morning, Brandi Worley took the children and spent the day with her mother.
That afternoon, Jason Worley, a software engineer, returned from work and the family went to Charlee’s dance practice, Buser said. After dinner at home, Brandi Worley went to Walmart, telling her husband that she needed pipe cleaners for a school project Tyler was working on.
Instead of pipe cleaners, she bought a knife, the Journal Review reported.
When she returned home, she hid the knife in Tyler’s bedroom before going into the living room, where she and her husband played with their children together before Jason Worley put them to bed for the last time, the newspaper said.
Buser said that early the following morning, Brandi Worley woke Tyler up for a “sleepover” in his little sister’s room, the Journal Review reported. In Charlee’s bedroom, she straddled her son and stabbed him repeatedly.
Charlee awoke at one point and asked what her mother was doing, the prosecutor said. When Brandi Worley told her “nothing,” Charlee went back to sleep.
Once Tyler was dead, Brandi Worley stabbed Charlee to death. Their autopsies showed both children were stabbed multiple times, the Journal Review said.
Worley then stabbed herself more than once in the neck, but survived.
“She was more adept killing her small, sleeping children than killing herself,” Buser said.
Defense attorney Mark Inman said there was no clear-cut reason that the murders took place. He told the Journal Review that his client showed emotion during their first few meetings, but became more stoic after that.
“That’s the only way she can deal with it at this point,” Inman said. “She doesn’t know why she did it.”
In court on Monday, Jason Worley was asked what sentence he would like to see his ex-wife receive.
“All I care is to never see her again,” he said, according to the newspaper. “Out of sight and out of mind.”
Brandi Worley’s individual sentences were 55 years for her son’s murder and 65 years for killing her young daughter. The sentences are to run consecutively, or one after another.
She is now housed in the Rockville Correctional Facility, according to state prison records.