From Hospital Bed, Duxbury Mom Faces Murder Charges in Children's Deaths

Lindsay Clancy "planned these murders, gave herself the time and privacy needed to commit the murders and then she strangled each child in the place where they should have felt the safest, at home with their mom," the prosecution said

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[Editor's note: Some readers may find the information in the story below disturbing.]

The Massachusetts mother charged in the killings of her three children at their Duxbury home last month appeared in court from her hospital bed on Tuesday and listened as prosecutors provided new details on what they say took place.

Lindsay Clancy is accused of tying exercise rope around each of her three children's necks for several minutes, then cutting herself and jumping out a window while her husband was running a pair of errands she'd arranged — all after seeing how long he would be out of the home.

"She planned these murders, gave herself the time and privacy needed to commit the murders and then she strangled each child in the place where they should have felt the safest, at home with their mom," Plymouth Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sprague said.

Lindsay Clancy, the Massachusetts mother charged in the killings of her three children in Duxbury last month, appeared in court from her hospital bed on Tuesday, where prosecutors

Clancy pleaded not guilty, and her lawyer, noting that the suicide attempt left her unable to walk, said what happened "clearly was a product of mental illness," and asked that she be kept in a medical facility while she recovers.

"This is not a situation your honor that was planned by any means," the lawyer said.

The judge ordered Clancy held in her current hospital until doctors clear her to go to a new facility for rehabilitation, and once she's allowed to go to the new facility, that she remain there except for medical care. She wasn't held on any cash bail. She's due back in court May 2.

Lindsay Clancy appeared virtually in court after allegedly killing her three young children in their Duxbury home.

New Details on Night Clancy Kids Were Killed

Lindsay Clancy has been hospitalized since when she allegedly killed her three children, 5-year-old Cora, 3-year-old Dawson and Callan, 8 months, on Jan. 24.

She's been charged with two counts of murder, three counts of strangulation and three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the exercise bands that prosecutors said were still tied around the children's necks when their father found them after returning home.

Prosecutors ran through the timeline of what happened that Tuesday night in greater detail than they had before. It had been a normal day for Clancy, they said, displaying no apparent issues when she took Cora to a doctor's appointment and sending normal-seeming texts with her husband and father.

Patrick Clancy would later tell police his wife "was having one of her best days" after being prescribed various medications and committing herself to McLean Hospital, according to prosecutors.

A 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy have died, and an 8-month-old boy was flown to a hospital, after police responded to a 911 call in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lindsay Clancy texted her husband, who was working in their basement office, to ask him to go to the store to pick up some medicine for the kids and takeout for dinner, prosecutors said. She'd allegedly searched online for the medication and the restaurant she suggested, as well as how long it would take "so she would know how long someone would be gone if they ran that errand," Sprague said.

Patrick Clancy left the house on Summer Street at 5:15 p.m.; in the roughly 55 minutes he was gone, the children were strangled by ligature in the home's basement, prosecutors said.

"She had to strangle each of them to unconsciousness and then make sure the bands were squeezing their little necks for several minutes. she could have changed her mind at any point during that time and removed those bands from their necks and she did not," Sprague said.

Returning from the pharmacy and restaurant, Patrick Clancy found the house empty and unsettlingly quiet. He called her at 6:09 p.m. to ask where she was and found blood on the floor in a locked second-floor room he made his way into. His wife outside the home with cuts on her wrists and neck and conscious.

Patrick Clancy asked Lindsay, "what did you do," Sprague said. "She responded to him, 'I tried to kill myself and jumped out the window.'"

She also allegedly told him, when he asked, that the children were in the basement. Patrick Clancy waited with his wife until first responders arrived, then found Cora and Callan in the den and Dawson in his office. On the 911 call, "he can then be heard screaming in agony and shock," Sprague said, then removed the bands from their necks "and begged them to breathe."

The medical staff was able to restart the heart of Callan, the baby, but his brain activity didn't return, and he died that Friday.

Prosecutors said that Friday was also when Lindsay Clancy, "using an erasable white board, because she was still temporary intubated," asked, "Do I need an attorney?" It indicated, according to the prosecution, that she knew she'd slain her kids and "she had the clarity, focus, and mental acumen to focus on protecting her own rights and interests."

Patrick Clancy, the father of the three Duxbury children who died last week allegedly at the hands of their mother, said he has forgiven her and called on others to do the same.

Lindsay Clancy's Defense

Clancy's attorney, Kevin Reddington, told Judge John Canavan that she was overmedicated for postpartum depression and anxiety, reiterating what he'd told NBC10 Boston and other media outlets this weekend, that she was prescribed a dozen medications in four months.

"This really is a tragedy, this case," Reddington said.

He detailed Clancy's struggles with medication after Callan's birth — she didn't go through the same thing after her first two kids were born — and said decried the way modern medicine treats postpartum depression.

Clancy was prescribed pills and told "she would be able to sleep, she would be able to feel, she would be able to emote once these medications kicked in," Reddington said. "It's easy to say come on you have a healthy baby, a wonderful husband … you're lucky. Take the pills, you'll be ok."

He hinted that a defense of insanity and involuntary intoxication are both on the table as the trial gets underway.

Reddington also gave an update on Clancy's condition, saying she remains "in dire medical condition" and isn't expected to regain function in her legs.

He said it wouldn't be fair to send Clancy to jail as she's rehabilitated, when she needs intensive medical care.

Clancy's attorney says his client even checked herself into a psychiatric hospital three weeks before the crime.

"That, to me, indicates someone who's struggling," said Lasell University professor Kellie Wallace, who teaches criminal justice and has treated murderers and women with postpartum depression.

She says the fact Clancy left the psychiatric hospital after five days isn't surprising.

"The fact that she was turned away so quickly to me indicates that her insurance ran out," said Wallace. "Not necessarily the providers thought it was safe for her to leave, which is what happens in a lot of these situations."

Hearing From Patrick Clancy

Patrick Clancy hasn't said that publicly. A little over a week ago, he addressed speculation around his wife's mental health, saying in a statement that she's recently been portrayed "largely by people who have never met her and never knew who the real Lindsay was." He went on to say that her "condition" had recently rapidly worsened, though he did not specify what she was struggling with.

Prosecutors revealed in court Tuesday that he and Lindsay had spoken on Monday, after she called him for a second time from the phone of a doctor her attorney had hired.

The first time, Sprague said, she left a voicemail for him saying she loved him, and when they connected, the second time she called, she told her husband she killed their kids because "she heard a man's voice telling her to kill the kids and kill herself because it was her last chance."

Clancy's lawyer didn't address the phone call.

The Duxbury community is in shock after two young children were killed, and a third injured, allegedly by their mother.

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