MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – A woman who told police she was hearing the devil's voice was found guilty Wednesday of fatally stabbing her two young daughters.
The jury also determined Jennifer Kukla was mentally ill.
"She will get treatment behind bars, but she is going to prison," Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said.
Police discovered the bodies of Alexandra, 8, and Ashley, 5, at their home in February, along with those of three dogs and a pet mouse. Police were called to the home about 25 miles north of Detroit by one of Kukla's sisters.
Officers testified that Kukla reported hearing the voice of the devil telling her to kill her daughters and the family pets.
During the trial, Steven Freers, Kukla's attorney, told the jury that only insanity could explain her actions. Kukla wanted to protect the girls against someone she thought was going to break into their home, raping and torturing her children, Freers said.
Three psychiatrists called by Freers testified that Kukla, 30, was legally insane when the girls were killed. But assistant prosecutor William Cataldo countered that she had managed to ignore voices telling Kukla to take her own life.
"I believe the jury just couldn't get past the fact there were two dead children," Freers said.
Kukla's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 24. If she had been found not guilty by reason of insanity, she likely would have gone to a psychiatric hospital until deemed fit to resume life outside custody, Smith said.
"Since the time of these murders, she hasn't heard another voice," he said. "In very short order she would have been released, and we weren't prepared to accept that."