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Defense, Prosecutors Make Final Cases In Trial For Nanny Accused Of Killing 2 Children

April 16, 2018 - 1:56 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The case of the nanny accused of murdering two little children at an Upper West Side apartment in 2012 reached closing arguments Monday.

After a court officer unlocked her handcuffs, accused nanny Yoselyn Ortega sat in the courtroom impassably listening, as her attorney, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, summed up her defense.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, Van Leer-Greenberg focused on her client’s mental state, noting that she had been diagnosed with major depression and citing multiple witnesses who testified that Ortega heard voices in her head.

The attorney portrayed Ortega as coming apart in the days leading up to the murders of Leo Krim, 2, and Lucia “Lulu” Krim, 6, in October 2012.

The defense asserted that Ortega was too mentally ill to grasp what she is charged with doing.

But prosecutors said Ortega meant to horrify a family she thought was working her too hard for too little money.

Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg described graphically how Ortega allegedly murdered the children. He said Ortega picked up Lulu, bought her an ice cream, and murdered her.

“She had to have a death struggle with a 6-year-old defending herself; putting her hands up in front of her face; in front of her neck, to stop the defendant from slashing her throat,” Silberg said.

Silberg said afterward, Ortega attacked Leo from the back.

"She had learned that if she comes at the children from the front with the knife, she’s going to get caught up in a death struggle. So this time, having learned what it takes to more efficiently kill a 2-year-old, wanting to cut his throat. The better way to do it; the learned way to do it, is to come from behind; the knife in his hand, drag it across his throat so deep that it almost reached his spine,” he said.

Silberg said Ortega’s statements and behavior also indicated that she had intended to take her own life after killing the children. Ortega stabbed herself as the children’s mother, Marina Krim, entered the bathroom where the children were killed, police said at the time.

Silberg also said Ortega deliberately stalled before coming back to the family’s apartment. He said Ortega claimed she was just bringing Lulu home to use the bathroom, yet also said she needed to know whether the children’s mother was home.

She went after a security guard, Thomas Brown, told her that Marina Krim was not home, Silberg said.

“She’s bringing the children back to murder them and to commit suicide,” Silberg said.

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