A Newbold woman, who pled guilty to stabbing her children to death, was resentenced after receiving an illegal amount of prison time.
Chanthy Mao admitted to police that she killed her daughter Savanna, 12, and son Savann, 8, inside the first-floor apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters on the 1700 block of South 18th Street at 5 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011. At the time, police suspected narcotics or a pill overdose may have been involved.
“She wasn’t under the influence,” Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said Tuesday. “She just had mental health problems.”
After pleading guilty to two counts of third-degree murder Nov. 7, 2012, Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner issued an illegal sentence of two concurrent 30-to-60-year sentences, according to court records.
However, each third degree count can hold only a 20-to-40-year prison term, Pescatore said.
The judge resentenced her to two consecutive 12-and-a-half-to-30-year sentences at Lycoming County’s Muncy State Prison, a women’s facility, Dec. 13, according to court records.
While her children were sleeping, she stabbed her boy twice with a paring knife and her girl multiple times because she is believed to have fought back Aug. 31, Pescatore said.
“She said she tried to kill herself,” Pescatore said of Mao’s plan after taking her children’s lives. “The knife wouldn’t go in.”
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Teddy bears are among the toys set up outside the apartment in the Newbold/Point Breeze area where Savanna, 12, and Savann Mao. 8, were allegedly killed. The stuffed-animal memorial has been growing since the day after their deaths and even included photos of the siblings Sept. 1 — the same day their 27-year-old mother, Chanthy Mao, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of possession of an instrument of crime.
Police believe a woman may have been unstable due to narcotics or overdosing on pills, which led her to allegedly stabbing her kin.