Sat | Jul 11, 2020

Nanny who killed kids, pleaded insanity convicted of murder

Published:Wednesday | April 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
In this Thursday, March 1, 2018 image, Yoselyn Ortega, a trusted nanny to a well-to-do family, listens to court proceedings during the first day of her trial, in New York.


A nanny who stabbed two children to death at their home while their mother was taking a sibling to a swimming lesson and their father was out of town was convicted of murder yesterday despite her claims that she was too mentally ill to be held responsible.

Jurors found that Yoselyn Ortega killed six-year-old Lucia Krim and two-year-old Leo Krim in October 2012 and understood the consequences of her actions when she did it.

Ortega expressed no reaction to the verdict, staring straight ahead as it was read in court. The children's father, Kevin Krim, held hands with two alternate jurors who said they would stay for the verdict. He then hugged them after it was read, and they cried together.

Ortega's lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, didn't dispute that Ortega killed the children but contended she had an undiagnosed mental illness that got worse in the moments leading up to the attack.

Mental illness "does not announce itself like a bad cough or a limp," Van Leer-Greenberg said during closing arguments. "Sometimes it sneaks up and nestles in before anyone takes notice."

But prosecutors maintained that Ortega knew what she was doing and acted out of jealous hatred of the children's mother, Marina Krim, who was richer and happier than she was.

"She did it intentionally with a full understanding of exactly what it was she was doing - every stab, every slash," Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg said during closing arguments.

Ortega, who is from the Dominican Republic, showed little emotion during the trial and mostly stared straight ahead. But she shook her head forcefully and mouthed "no" during testimony that her employers treated her well.

Jurors heard heart-wrenching testimony from Marina Krim, who spoke of the sickening, desperate moments when she saw her children's vacant eyes, their small bodies perforated by stab wounds.