McCabe pleads guilty to murder for throwing son with autism off - KPTV - FOX 12

McCabe pleads guilty to murder for throwing son with autism off bridge

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During a news conference Tuesday morning, District Attorney Michelle Branam announced the plea agreemnet, and shared details of the case. (Jamie Wilson, KPTV) During a news conference Tuesday morning, District Attorney Michelle Branam announced the plea agreemnet, and shared details of the case. (Jamie Wilson, KPTV)
NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) -

She threw her son with autism off of a bridge in Newport and killed him, and now Jillian McCabe has made a plea deal, admitting she is guilty of murder.

McCabe walked her 6-year-old son London up onto the Yaquina bay Bridge in Newport and threw him over the side 15 months ago.

Many thought it was a case of a mother who just snapped and made a tragic mistake, but prosecutors say they’ve proved it was premeditated, and that McCabe planned the murder for weeks.

Some of McCabe’s family members held a news conference Tuesday after the announcement of the plea agreement, and spoke out over the loss of the child.

“He was my pride and joy, he was the center of my attention,” Matthew McCabe, London’s father, said. “His loss leaves a black hole in the center of my life.”

“No amount of punishment can make up for the value of London’s life,” his grandmother Reitha McCabe said. “He is our priceless child.”

Jillian McCabe called 911 immediately after London went off the bridge, saying voices in her head made her do it.

She wrote about it in her journal and in a letter to Matthew saying the voices said he needed this for a fresh start.

Lincoln County District Attorney Michelle Branam said the circumstances were not that simple.

“Everyone hopes it can be explained by way of mental illness so we don’t have to leave open the possibility that a mother could plan to so horrifically murder their child,” she said. “But it appears from the evidence in this case that that is exactly what happened.”

Officials said Jillian McCabe ’s cell phone records point to weeks of planning, showing searches for Andrea Yates, the Texas woman who drowned her five children, and Amanda Stott-Smith, who threw her kids off the Sellwood Bridge in Portland.

They also said Jillian McCabe searched “guilty but insane” and “state hospital.” In the week leading up to the murder, McCabe clicked on pages about throwing a child off a bridge 15 times.

Matthew knew about his wife’s depression and said she got mental health treatment earlier that year, but he never worried for London.

“I trusted the mental health professionals. I never thought he was in danger,” he said. “If any of us had even caught a whiff of danger she wouldn’t have been alone with him, ever.”

The McCabe s were involved in Monday’s settlement conference when Jillian pleaded guilty to murder.

In her journal entries, McCabe said she wanted to go to the state hospital, but she is going to prison.

McCabe’s plea deal means she will avoid trial and go straight to prison to serve a life sentence, with the possibility of parole in 25 years.

For London’s family, it’s an end to the case, but not to their grief.

“There’s a misconception that a trial brings closure, but for the victims, there is no closure,” Matthew said. “I will miss my son forever.”

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