70ºF

Palm Bay mom indicted in slaying of kids not in court

State attorney will decide whether to seek death penalty

A family photo is among the posters on Emerson Drive in Palm Bay on Monday night as hundreds of family and friends mourned the loss of Christopher, PJ and Lacey, the three children of Jessica McCarty. All three children have died. Posters line Emerson Drive in Palm Bay as Hundreds of family and friend morn the loss of Christopher, PJ and Lacey the three children who were killed by mother Jessica McCarty Friday night at their Palm Bay home. During a prayer vigil held at Palm Bay Christian Church Monday evening.
A family photo is among the posters on Emerson Drive in Palm Bay on Monday night as hundreds of family and friends mourned the loss of Christopher, PJ and Lacey, the three children of Jessica McCarty. All three children have died. Posters line Emerson Drive in Palm Bay as Hundreds of family and friend morn the loss of Christopher, PJ and Lacey the three children who were killed by mother Jessica McCarty Friday night at their Palm Bay home. During a prayer vigil held at Palm Bay Christian Church Monday evening. (Craig Rubadoux / Florida Today)


PALM BAY, Fla. – A mother charged with killing her three children last month was supposed to appear in court Thursday, but she was a no-show.

It comes just one day after a Brevard County Grand Jury handed down three first-degree premeditated murder indictments against Jessica McCarty, 33.

"The Grand Jury heard the evidence and they speak for the community on these sorts of things," said Assistant State Attorney Gary Beatty. "They obviously felt that the first-degree murder indictment was appropriate."

Police say McCarty called 911 back on March 20 to report that she had slashed her wrists and that her three children were dead inside her Palm Bay home.

7-year-old Lacy McCarty and 6-year-old Philip McCarty died that night from their injuries; Lacey drowned, Philip was strangled with a cord.

The third child, 5-month-old Christopher Swist, died two days later, also of strangulation. 

McCarty was expected in court Thursday at the Brevard County Jail after the indictment, but according to her attorney she waived her appearance.

Beatty wasn't surprised she didn't show.

"It's really just a routine matter, nothing would've been decided. She's already being held on no bond and it's very, very unlikely the judge would've changed that anyway," said Beatty.

When this case ultimately gets set for trial, the State Attorney's Office says it is likely they will be pursuing the death penalty.


About the Author: