Puzzled family members of an Arizona woman who admitted drowning her 13-year-old son and suffocating her 10-year-old daughter in a Santa Ana hotel room were trying to figure out Saturday what the killer meant while being sentenced to life in prison when she said she killed her kids to protect them.

Marilyn Kay Edge. Photo via Orange County District Attorney's Office
Marilyn Kay Edge. Photo via Orange County District Attorney’s Office

Marilyn Kay Edge, 44, of Scottsdale, apologized to her ex-husband’s family while being ordered to prison for life without parole.

“I’m sorry for failing my children as their mother … and believing this was the only choice I had to protect them,” she said. “I pray they (the victims’ family members) get peace.”

A judge had ordered her to return her son Jaelen and daughter Faith to their father in Georgia by noon on Sept. 15, 2013. Just after 8 a.m. the following day, Edge crashed a gray Honda Accord into steel poles protecting an electrical vault in the parking lot of an Albertsons supermarket in Costa Mesa.

When she was pulled from the vehicle, Edge — who had a cord wrapped around her neck — told police about her children, and officers found their bodies inside the Hampton Inn & Suites near the interchange of the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway at Dyer Road.

Their father told Orange County Superior Court Judge James Stotler about years of lies and false allegations his former wife made against him in divorce court in Georgia, which he said led to his jailing for the first time in his life.

He said he had to pay hundreds of dollars for supervised visits with his children due to their mother’s false allegations, and child support at times amounted to half his monthly salary.

Edge detailed how the couple’s relationship, which was often “tumultuous,” took a turn for the worse when his son was diagnosed at 2 with autism. He said he accepted the boy’s diagnosis and studied up on how to help his son, but his wife turned to “junk science” that offered a “cure” for the condition.

He accused her of using his credit card and taking out home equity loans to pay quacks for phony cures. He said he attempted to be “cordial” with his estranged wife despite their differences, but she would foster “pointless conflict” when he sought visitation with the children.

And when he fell for someone else, the situation deteriorated further, he said, calling his former spouse “an uncaring, heartless, greedy, manipulative … child abuser.”

Edge said he took a job in Afghanistan with the military to keep up with his child support payments and, while there, was accused by his ex-wife of abandoning their children. He couldn’t fight the claim in court from so far away, and was left “broke and stranded in Afghanistan,” Edge said.

After the hearing, Stotler apologized to the Edge family for the failings of the family law court in Georgia.

His sister, Jennifer, recalled the chilling “scream” on the phone when he told her his kids had been murdered.

“It shook the core of my being — the scream I heard over the phone,” she said.

When the defendant lost custody of her children, she drove them out of Georgia out west instead of dropping them off with their father.

She subdued both with an over-the-counter sleeping medicine before killing them, with Jaelen the first to die by being drowned in the hotel bathtub. The running water roused Faith, who got up and stumbled over to a couch, where her mother took a pillow and suffocated her, according to a grand jury transcript.

The defendant had carried a propane tank from her car into the room, hoping that the fumes would kill them all, but she did not open the valve correctly, according to the grand jury transcript.

After she killed the children, she put the propane tank into the car and put a belt around her neck before crashing the vehicle, hoping the propane would explode and kill her, according to the transcript.

After both children were dead, Edge dragged her daughter back to the bathtub so she could be with her sibling, according to the grand jury record.

The sentencing took place Friday.

— City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *