Utah mother gets maximum sentence for murdering six of her babies

Megan Huntsman arrives in court in Provo, Utah, on Feb. 12.
Megan Huntsman arrives in court in Provo, Utah, on Feb. 12.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Megan Huntsman, a Utah woman who admitted to murdering six of her newborn babies and storing their bodies in her garage, was sentenced Monday to six terms of up to life in prison, the maximum possible sentence, the Associated Press reported.

Three of the terms are to be served consecutively, and the other three concurrently, according to local news radio station KSL.

Last April, Huntsman’s estranged husband found one infant’s body while cleaning the garage of the home the couple once shared in Pleasant Grove, near Salt Lake City. Police soon found six others. Prosecutors said that one baby had been stillborn but that Huntsman had killed the rest.

According to court documents, the bodies had been wrapped in towels or sweaters and packed with plastic wrap in storage boxes, some of which had been sealed with electrical tape. The boxes rested against a garage wall. Police have said they think she had the babies from 1996 to 2006.


Huntsman, 40, told police she had strangled or suffocated the infants and lost count of how many, court documents said.

In February, she pleaded guilty to six counts of murder.

“Obviously this was a very heinous crime, something that we haven’t seen in Utah or Utah County before,” Utah County Atty. Jeff Buhman told the Los Angeles Times shortly after Huntsman entered her guilty plea. As to Huntsman’s motive, he said, “We know there was some drug use, probably a significant amount,” but “there really isn’t a good explanation.”

Huntsman has three living daughters. Her husband, Darren West, had been in federal prison on a methamphetamine-related conviction from 2006 to 2014; he found the first body not long after his release.

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