A Tacony woman was sentenced to life in prison last week after a Philadelphia judge convicted her of murdering her twin toddlers in a dispute with the children’s father.
Stacey Newkirk (aka Stacey Smalls), 42, did not dispute that she was responsible for the May 24, 2012, deaths of 18-month-old Adam and Eve Smalls at their home on the 6300 block of Ditman St. But the public defenders who represented Newkirk successfully appealed to Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Minehart to spare their client first-degree murder convictions — and the possibility of the death penalty.
Newkirk had waived her right to a trial by jury, opting to leave her fate in Minehart’s hands.
Authorities alleged that Newkirk drowned one of the twins in a bathtub, smothered the other and attempted to poison a third child, her 4-year-old daughter. The judge acquitted Newkirk of attempted murder involving the older girl after medical tests revealed no poison in her system.
Assistant District Attorney Peter Lim told the court that Newkirk wrote self-incriminating notes about the killings and left them near the bodies of the deceased children. Newkirk told police that she had fed the children sleeping pills, in addition to drowning one and smothering the other, Lim said.
The prosecutor further stated that Newkirk revealed her motive in one of her notes. Newkirk believed that her husband was having an affair with her adult daughter from a prior relationship.
In one of the notes, Newkirk stated: “I hope this makes you feel 1/1000th of the pain I feel,” according to the prosecutor. ••