Woman who killed her children after losing custody gets life in prison

Marilyn Kay Edge, Arlene Speiser

Marilyn Kay Edge, right, appears on a monitor with Orange County deputy public defender Arlene Speiser at a video arraignment in Santa Ana in September 2013.


(Chris Carlson / AP)

An Arizona woman who killed her two children after bringing them to California on the pretense of going to Disneyland was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Orange County district attorney’s office said.

Marilyn Kay Edge, 44, of Scottsdale pleaded guilty last month to two counts of murder with special circumstances in the 2013 deaths of her daughter Faith, 10, and son Jaelen, 13.

After losing custody of the children in September 2013 in a family court hearing in Georgia, where her ex-husband lives, she ignored an order to surrender them to the court four days later.

Instead, she drove across the country with them and checked into a Santa Ana hotel.


“Late in the evening of Sept. 13, 2013, Edge murdered her two children by using a combination of medication, drowning and suffocation,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Hours later, she tried to commit suicide by ramming her car into an electrical box outside a home-improvement store in Costa Mesa, but her vehicle was disabled when she crashed into steel poles protecting the box, authorities said.

Edge was arrested at the scene, where she also had tried to strangle herself with an electrical wire and told police where her children’s bodies were.

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At her arraignment in 2013, Edge asked an Orange County Superior Court judge to give her the death penalty. At her sentencing Friday, the children’s father and other family members delivered emotional statements to the court.

“Each of the family members expressed their frustration with the court’s custody decision in Georgia, shared stories about the joys and interests of Faith E. and Jaelen E., and talked about the pain and loss their family has experienced due to the actions of the defendant,” the district attorney’s statement said.

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