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article imageNY mom who killed her 3 kids seeks cut of their $350,000 estate

By Yukio Strachan     Oct 5, 2013 in Crime
Mineola - Next month, a woman who murdered her three young children in her Long Island, NY apartment by drowning them in the bathtub — will ask a judge for a cut of their $350,000 estate.
When Nassau County officers arrived at Leatrice Brewer's apartment building Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 9am, they found a gruesome scene.
In a blood-spattered bedroom, lying together in the same bed in their night clothes, were the bodies of her two sons, Michael Demesyeux, 5, and Innocent Demesyeux, 18 months, and her daughter, Jewell Ward, 6, Long island news reported.
The authorities said that Jewell sustained knife wounds to the chest, back and neck and arms, indicating that she had tried to fend off the attack, The New York Times said at the time.
It was later determined that Brewer tried to kill herself after killing her kids by swallowing a concoction of household cleaning chemicals. When that suicide bid failed, she jumped out her second-story window but again survived, NBC Long Island reported.
In 2009, Brewer was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect" after psychiatrists determined she suffered a "major depressive disorder" with "psychotic features, hallucinations and paranoia" and believed she killed the children to save them from what she believed were the continuing effects of Voodoo.
It is for this reason — that Brewer wasn't convicted — Nassau County Surrogate's Court Judge Edward McCarty ruled Thursday that Brewer could be taken from an upstate psychiatric facility to testify about her request next month.
'The children seemed well cared for'
Brewer is seeking is a portion of the $350,000 that was awarded to the fathers of the children after suing Nassau County. The men claimed that caseworkers failed to properly monitor the children and could have done more to prevent their deaths. As a result, the father of Brewer's 5-year-old and 18-month old sons won a $250,000 settlement. And the father of the 6-year-old daughter won a $100,000 settlement.
"The only reason that there is money in this estate is because of her actions," said attorney Thomas Foley in July, who represented Innocent Demesyeux, the father of the two boys, who was arrested on an assault charge for beating Brewer with a stick as the children watched. "She killed the kids and now there's money."
According to ABC news, the agency investigated the home 10 times but said, "the children seemed well cared for." All but three of the visits were found credible.
Brewer's 2004 beating was one of those times, the Times said.
Brewer is no convict
This is an unusual case. New York's "Son of Sam Law," named for the 1970s serial killer, was designed to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes, including "income generated as a result of having committed the crime."
But Brewer's attorney said she shouldn't be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes since she wasn't a convict.
"Until Leatrice Brewer is disqualified, she is entitled to a share," attorney Peter Kelly told the court in a July hearing on the matter, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although the case would establish a precedent in New York if Brewer succeeds, according to NBC news, she's not expected to see any money because of a $1.2 million lien against her for psychiatric counseling and other services she has received since her arrest, attorney said.
The next court proceeding on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 6.
More about Leatrice Brewer, Wrongful Death, Lawsuit, Mental illness, moms who murder
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