A 23-year-old woman who kidnapped her slain half-sister’s three young children and led authorities on a search that stretched across state lines was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in state prison, officials said.
Brittney Sue Humphrey of Fresno pleaded no contest to three counts of kidnapping, crimes prosecutors said she committed with her boyfriend, Joshua Robertson, who is awaiting trial.
The children’s mother, Kimberly Harvill, was found dead in August 2016 along a road in rural Los Angeles County. Ten days later, authorities located the children, who at the time were 5 or younger, at a motel on the outskirts of Albuquerque.
The next day, Humphrey and Robertson were arrested in Colorado.
Robertson, 28, and Alex Valdez, 29, are accused of murdering Harvill. The woman’s body was found along Gorman Post Road in Lebec, close to the county’s border with Kern County.
A driver in the area spotted the woman’s remains in the roadside brush; she had multiple gunshot wounds and trauma to her head.
The murder suspects also face a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, which makes them eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors have not decided if they will pursue capital punishment.
Both are due in court in coming weeks.