South Carolina mother, Shaquan Duley, began crying as she waited to plead guilty to the murders of her two young sons Friday without making a plea deal with prosecutors. She now faces from 30 years to life in prison when sentenced.
This is probably the hardest thing that I've gone through, Duley told the court Friday according to The Times and Democrat. My heart hurts every day... because I don't have my sons.
The bodies of 18-month-old Ja'van and 2-year-old Devean were pulled out of the North Edisto River August 16, 2010. Duley, 30, has been held without bond since her August 2010 arrest, according to The Associated Press.
Duley's initial story was that she fell asleep at the wheel before the car rolled into the river, but there was no sign of skid marks or a crash.
Later, Duley told the police that after being told by her sister and mother that she was failing as a parent, she fled with her sons to a motel and held her hands over the boys' mouths, according to The AP.
Investigators said she strapped the bodies into their car seats, drove to a boat ramp and watched as the car rolled into the river. She then flagged down a passing car to call the Highway Patrol.
Duley's attorney, Carl B. Grant, told Oprah Winfrey that Duley was depressed. She tried to kill herself the night of the murders by taking a dozen packages of headache medication and trying to slit her wrists with a box cutter.
When the suicide attempts failed, she planned to die inside the car with her children, but changed her mind before the car went into the river. According to The AP, Duley lost custody of her third child while in jail. Custody of the young daughter was granted to Duley's mother.
I was depressed for a long time. I've been hurt for a long time, Duley said in court Friday according to The T&D. Have mercy on me.
First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe told The T&D that a psychological evaluation says Duley is not mentally ill.