Paragraphs 14 & 15 read: "Defense attorney Parnham told jurors Hebert was a loving mother who had taught Sunday School at their church the day before the slayings. The defendant had suffered severe depression following her 2005 divorce, but had been treated for it."
"He noted Hebert had shown considerable remorse for the children’s deaths, once she restarted taking her medication."
SSRI Stories note: Possible "withdrawal mania" here or even being on the drug at a too high dosage, switching SSRIs, recent decrease or increase in the antidepressant. The possibilities are endless. Also, the "Withdrawal Mania" and "Withdrawal Psychosis" can last for up to two years.
Gruesome details emerge on first day of mom's trialRaymond Legendre
Published: Monday, May 4, 2009 at 2:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 at 2:13 p.m.
THIBODAUX – Jurors viewed gruesome video from a police officer's taser and heard a defense attorney say Amy Hebert heard a voice that told her to kill her two children, on the first day of her trial.
"He’s going to take them today. You’ll never see your kids again. You must die with them," defense attorney George Parnham told jurors were the words a man’s voice told Hebert, before she grabbed 11 knives and used them to stab her children.
District Attorney Cam Morvant II, who is seeking the death penalty against Hebert, told jurors the killings were part of a calculated act of revenge toward her ex-husband, Chad Hebert, not because of a psychotic fit.
Later on jurors saw video from the Taser used by a police officer who responded to the Mathews residence that clearly shows the mortally wounded children and the critically wounded Hebert, on her bed, which was soaked crimson red with blood.
Opening statements this morning presented starkly different portraits of Hebert, a 42-year-old former teacher’s aide.
The opening statements served as previews for trial testimony about her relationship with her ex-husband’s family, her mental state and the day of the slayings.
Hebert has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the deaths of her 9-year-old daughter Camille and 7-year-old son Braxton on the morning of Aug. 20, 2007.
The defendant cried through much of opening statements, and began weeping when Parnham described her being instructed to stab her children in the head.
Unlike trial testimony, jurors are not to use opening statements when reaching a verdict.
Morvant portrayed Hebert as a jealous ex-wife unable to come to grips with her ex-husband’s relationship with Kimberly Mendoza, now his wife, and her childrens' request to call the new woman "mom."
As a result of the strained relationship between the former spouses, Hebert did not let the childrens' grandmother, who lived across the street from them, see them during the summer of 2007, Morvant said.
Morvant noted letters the defendant wrote her ex-husband and ex-husband’s mother, Judy Hebert, proved she possessed a sound mind.
"These were not the ramblings of some psychotic person," Morvant said of Hebert’s notes. "She knew what she doing. Her plan was she was going to commit suicide ... and the ultimate act of revenge against her ex-husband."
Defense attorney Parnham told jurors Hebert was a loving mother who had taught Sunday School at their church the day before the slayings. The defendant had suffered severe depression following her 2005 divorce, but had been treated for it.
He noted Hebert had shown considerable remorse for the children’s deaths, once she restarted taking her medication.
"'They were my whole world. I loved them so, I loved them so,'" Parnham told jurors Hebert said to psychiatrist David Self during a mental evaluation.
Staff Writer Raymond Legendre can be reached at 448-7617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.