A Coralville woman, who was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, said she is sorry for what she did on October 26th of 2008 and that she loved her two sons. In November of this year, a jury found 36-year-old Michelle Kehoe guilty in the death of her two-year-old son Seth and attempting to kill her seven-year-old son, Sean. Kehoe cut both of the boy’s throats with a knife in a wooded area in Buchanan County.
She also slashed her own throat. At her sentencing hearing, Michelle’s husband Eugene talked about their surviving son. “Sean’s physical injuries have healed and we’ve all been diligently working towards the emotional healing from his trauma,” Eugene Kehoe said while wiping away tears. “This process is ongoing and it will be forever.” Eugene read a victim impact statement – saying that “forgiveness is in order” for his wife.
“We do need to remember that this incident is a result of profound mental illness and was an act of great hopelessness and despair…something this system does not seem to recognize,” Eugene said. Michelle Kehoe was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment causing serious injury. She had plead not guilty by reason of insanity. First Judicial District Judge Bruce Zager sentenced Kehoe to the maximum time allowed by law. Zager noted that Kehoe was diagnosed with mental problems several years ago and had access to treatment.
“You had some of the finest professionals at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics seeing you and attempting to help you…and it was your decision at that time or leading up to the events that brings us here today…you decided to terminate these services, that you didn’t need these services,” Zager said.
By Mark Geary, KCRG-TV,Cedar Rapids