BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A woman pleaded guilty to murder Thursday in the decapitation slayings of her three young children, after reaching an agreement with prosecutors that spares her from the death penalty.
Angela Camacho (search), 25, will receive three concurrent life prison sentences and will be eligible for parole in 40 years.
Had she been convicted and sentenced to death, she would have become the first female Mexican national on Texas' (search) death row. Her attorneys had failed to prove she was mentally retarded and therefore ineligible for the death penalty; the plea deal spares her anyway.
Camacho and 24-year-old John Allen Rubio (search), her common-law husband, were accused of strangling and decapitating 3-year-old Julissa Quezada, 1-year-old John Esthefan Rubio (search) and 2-month-old Mary Jane Rubio (search) in March 2003.
A relative called police, who found the girls stuffed in a trash bag and the boy on a bed. The couple told police they thought the children were possessed.
Rubio was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to death after he requested the death penalty. Rubio has since decided to fight the sentence. In February, he was found competent to choose his attorney for the appeal.
According to evidence during Rubio's trial, he had inhaled so much spray paint that he had damaged his brain and might have been psychotic.
Camacho's case was tied up for more than two years due to issues of her mental health.
Camacho answered state District Judge Benjamin Uresti's questions in Spanish as he accepted her guilty plea.
"I hope that God will touch your heart and that you ask for forgiveness," Uresti said. "Good luck to you."
Alberto Pullen, one of Camacho's attorneys, said she would face deportation if released from prison. He said she wants to stay in the U.S.