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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Mom who killed her kids loses final appeal

Mom who killed her kids loses final appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the latest appeal from a 52-year-old Mathews woman serving life in prison for murdering her two children in 2007.

The high court denied Amy Hebert’s petition in March, effectively closing the case over 10 years after she was sentenced to two life terms in prison.

Hebert was convicted for the stabbing deaths of her 9-year-old daughter Camille and 7-year-old son, Braxton. After jurors could not agree to hand down a death penalty sentence, District Court Judge Jerome Barbera sentenced her to two consecutive terms of life in prison in 2009.

Hebert, a former teacher’s aide, contended she was insane when she stabbed her two children and family dog.

Her New Orleans attorney, Letty S. Di Giulio, argued in court filings that three mental health experts determined her client was not sane during the time of the killings.

“Based on extensive clinical interviews with Ms. Hebert in the months leading up to trial, Ms. Hebert’s personal and family history of mental illness, interviews with family and friends and the circumstances of the offense, all the experts concluded that Ms. Hebert was legally insane at the time of the offense,” Di Giulio said.

The defense also argued the state discriminated against potential jurors based on gender, and the evidence presented during the trial was insufficient to prove she was not insane when she committed the murders.

Hebert asked the federal court to toss out her conviction and grant her a new trial on constitutional grounds after a series of unsuccessful appeals in the First Circuit Court of Appeal and state Supreme Court.

She then brought the matter to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal but was denied in May.

Hebert filed one last petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the juror discrimination allegation and was rejected yet again. Hebert has now exhausted all of her appeals, prosecutors said.

“So officially now that case is over,” said Assistant Attorney Joe Soignet, who handles appeals for Lafourche. “It kind of demonstrates how long it takes to progress through the appeals process. All the Supreme Court did was deny her petition. They didn’t give an opinion. But it literally closes the book on the case.”

Hebert is serving out her life sentence in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in Jetson.


-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.