Alabama Mother Admits to Strangling and Slitting Throats of Her Two Sons
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Alabama Mother Admits to Strangling and Slitting Throats of Her Two Sons

A 37-year-old Alabama woman will be imprisoned for the rest of her life for the strangling and slitting deaths of her two young sons.

Sarah Tapia Franco was sentenced to two life terms in a state prison on Thursday by Cullman County Circuit Judge Martha Williams for the killings of three-year-old Alvaro Garcia and nine-year-old Taylor Garcia, according to official statements.

Franco entered a guilty plea to two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of the children this month, following his grand jury indictment in early 2020. A second count of capital murder of two or more people was added to her indictment, but it was eventually dismissed. Her life sentences will begin to serve simultaneously, or concurrently.

In a press release announcing the sentence, District Attorney Champ Crocker stated that, “There is no amount of punishment that would be enough or harsh enough for Sarah Tapia Franco. I am confident that she will never see the light of day again.” 

About 60 miles north of Birmingham, Alabama, in a rural location, was where the nightmare started about five years ago.

On Saturday, October 12, 2019, in the afternoon, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report at a residence in the 4000 block of County Road 1718, according to the authorities. First responders reported seeing a graphic scene when they arrived at the scene.

“You know, in law enforcement, there’s things you can prepare yourself for, and there’s things you can’t prepare yourself for, and this is an incident that you can never prepare for,” Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry stated in a press conference. “When deputies arrived, we set up a perimeter, and in that perimeter search we deployed our K-9. Our K-9 led us through an open field that adjoined the house, there’s some neighboring farms, in the field we were able to locate one Sara Tapia, which is the mother of the children and the person that we have in custody. We did locate a knife and there were multiple self-inflicted wounds on her.”

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Because of the self-inflicted wounds, Franco was evacuated to a nearby hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit, according to the Cullman Tribune. Before being moved to a state mental health center, Franco was reportedly under constant deputies’ supervision during her hospital stay, according to Gentry.

According to the Tribune, Franco stayed at the state facility until July 2021. After a competence hearing, she was allegedly moved to the Cullman County Detention Center.

Franco was sentenced to life in prison, $20,000 for the Crime Victim’s Compensation Assessment, about $10,584 in restitution, and $10,000 toward court expenses.

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.