'They didn't deserve this': Mother of alleged teen killer speaks out

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RIPLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) — The mother of a Ripley County teenager accused of killing his younger siblings is speaking out.

Christina McCartney says she wants justice for her 2-year-old daughter and 11-month-old stepson.

McCartney says every day is a living nightmare, one from which she can never wake up.

She lost her two youngest children last year, just months apart.

Her now-15-year-old son is charged with smothering them. Eyewitness News has decided not to name the teen until a decision is made on whether he'll be tried as an adult.

"I'm grateful for the time I got to spend with my babies, but my heart breaks for the time that I am missing that has been taken from me, by the hands of my own son," McCartney said, crying.

A son McCartney still loves, despite what investigators say the then-13-year-old did to his little brother and sister.

"Up until May of last year, we didn't see this side," McCartney added.

A side, investigators say, led to the Ripley County teen smothering his nearly 3-year-old sister Desiree and just two months later, doing the same thing to his 11-month-old stepbrother Nathaniel.

"No mother would ever want to think about that being their son," said McCartney, but that's just what she's had to confront.

According to court documents, the teen confessed to killing his younger siblings after a relative reported to investigators he also mutilated a kitten. Investigators say the teen told them he put blankets over his sister and brother's heads to free them from the hell in which he was living.

When investigators asked what that meant, he reportedly said doing chores.

McCartney still has nightmares when she thinks about how her younger children died.

"What was it like to take that last breath? Did they ask for mommy? Was my daughter gasping for air? What about the baby?" McCartney asked, crying.

"They didn't deserve this," she added.

Until her son confessed, McCartney says she saw no signs her eldest child had any problems.

"He did great in school. He didn't show these symptoms," she explained. "When I found out the truth, I had him put into a mental hospital."

Now that he's formally charged, the teen has moved to a juvenile detention center. It's a move his mother believes isn't safe for anyone.

"Being in a juvenile detention center is putting the other kids at risk," said McCartney.

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