NY mom who killed her three kids to ask judge for cut of their estate

This combination of photos provided by the Nassau County Police Department shows Leatrice Brewer in 2003, and her children, Jewell Ward, and Michael Demesyeux, right. Jewell, 6, Michael, 5, and their brother Innocent Demesyeux, 1, were found dead Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 in the same bed in their New Cassel, N.Y., home after their mother, Leatrice Brewer, 27, called police claiming she killed them. On Thursday, a judge ruled that Leatrice Brewer, found not guilty because of mental disease or defect, will be taken from a psychiatric facility to testify about her request for a cut of the children's $350,000 estate in November. AP photo

This combination of photos provided by the Nassau County Police Department shows Leatrice Brewer in 2003, and her children, Jewell Ward, and Michael Demesyeux, right. Jewell, 6, Michael, 5, and their brother Innocent Demesyeux, 1, were found dead Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 in the same bed in their New Cassel, N.Y., home after their mother, Leatrice Brewer, 27, called police claiming she killed them. On Thursday, a judge ruled that Leatrice Brewer, found not guilty because of mental disease or defect, will be taken from a psychiatric facility to testify about her request for a cut of the children's $350,000 estate in November. AP photo

MINEOLA, N.Y. — A mentally disturbed woman who drowned her three young children in a bathtub is going to court to ask a judge for a cut of their $350,000 estate.

Leatrice Brewer will be taken from an upstate psychiatric facility to testify about her request next month, Nassau County Surrogate’s Court Judge Edward McCarty ruled Thursday.

Brewer, 33, was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of her children, ages 1, 5 and 6. Brewer admitted she drowned the children in the bathtub of her apartment in New Cassel, N.Y., in February 2008.

Instead of facing trial on three murder counts in the children’s deaths, Brewer pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. Psychiatrists had determined she suffered a major depressive disorder and believed she killed the children to save them from the potentially fatal effects of voodoo. Brewer is being kept at a state psychiatric hospital until psychiatrists determine she’s no longer mentally ill.

Although the case would establish a precedent in New York if Brewer succeeds, she’s not expected to see any money because of a $1.2 million lien against her for psychiatric counseling and other services she has received since her arrest.

New York’s Son of Sam Law, named for the 1970s serial killer, was designed to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes. The judge in Brewer’s case, though, has noted the unique aspect — that Brewer wasn’t convicted.

The judge has scheduled a Nov. 6 hearing on the matter.

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