The Associated Press reports that a teen who has pleaded guilty killing her parents was sentenced to 40 years in prison. In Augusta, Maine, Andrea Balcer claims she snapped and killed her parents while she was struggling with gender identity.
She was only 17 when the crimes were committed, but now asks her family members for forgiveness.
Defense attorneys claimed that Balcer was isolated and going through a transition from male to female without the support of her family. She had no prior criminal record.
Balcer killed her parents on October 31, 2016, and her remaining family members called for the maximum penalty. She did not kill her older brother, who also urged the court to impose a tougher sentence.
Now 20 years old, Balcer killed her parents when they were both just 47. Family friends say they were nothing but supportive of their children, and her excuses for killing them were flimsy at best.
Balcer called 911 after murdering her parents and told the dispatcher she stabbed her mother in the back when hugging her, then stabbed her father when he woke up to his wife’s screams. She also killed the family’s Chihuahua, but spared her brother. Investigators discovered a military-style knife in the floor near her father’s body.
She has been considered an adult in court proceedings and she entered a guilty plea that would cap her sentence at 55 years. She was sentenced to 40 due to the fact she had good grades and no prior criminal record.
*Photo credit The Associated Press