An Iowa woman charged with killing her new-born twin daughters pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of second-degree murder.
Jackie Burkle, 22, of Huxley, Iowa, was sentenced to 50 years in prison and will have to serve a minimum of 35 years before she is eligible for parole.
Burkle was arrested in January after her co-workers noticed that she appeared to be pregnant and two days later did not appear to be pregnant ‘with a completely different appearance,’ according to court documents.
According to court records, police went to the duplex where Burkle lived with her parents after receiving a call to check on her.
She was charged with first-degree murder after police found the infants’ bodies in the trunk of her car.
She had abandoned the twins in the car after giving birth at home. Authorities have not released the cause of death.
Court documents filed yesterday show that a plea agreement had been made between prosecutors and Burkle.
The charges against Burkle were reduced from two counts of first-degree murder to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for Burkle’s agreement to plead guilty, reported the Ames Tribune.
Burkle’s attorney, Maria Ruhtenberg said her client did not make any statements during the hearing in Story County District Court. Ruhtenberg declined to comment specifically about the plea deal.
She said Burkle was sentenced to 50 years in prison on each count of second-degree murder, to be served concurrently.
The store is only a few blocks from Burkle’s home.
‘It’s a very tragic event,’ he said in January. ‘It’s a very hard one to cope with.’
Michael Motsinger, special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the infants survived the birth but he did not know if they were full-term.
Court records show when police arrived at her home Burkle agreed to go to a hospital and have a blood test that indicated she had been recently pregnant. She acknowledged she gave birth to twins and told officers where to find the bodies.