Tacony woman sentenced to life in prison for murdering her 18-month-old twins

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. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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