Prosecutors Announce ‘Aggravating Circumstances’ Against Woman Who Allegedly Suffocated Her 3 Kids

Prosecutors haven’t announced if they’re going to seek the death penalty against Arizona woman Rachel Henry, 22. Nonetheless, on Tuesday, the state filed their claims of “aggravating circumstances” against her in the alleged murders of her three children, according to ABC 15.

The aggravating factors:

  • Victims Zane Henry, 3, Miraya Henry, 1, and Catalaya Rios, 7-month-old, were minors.
  • The alleged murders were done in an “especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner.”
  • The defendant was allegedly on drugs at the time.

Rachel Henry was indicted January 28, and pleaded not guilty on February 4.

Police in Phoenix, Arizona say that they were called to a home. They found the children unresponsive, and though they attempted CPR, it was already too late, authorities said. Henry allegedly confessed. The defendant killed Miraya first by putting her hand over the child’s mouth, cops said. In this account, Zane attempted to stop his mother, even going as far as to punch her. Henry allegedly chased him. Relatives arrived home, incidentally interrupting her actions, according to cops. A family member played with Zane for a while, but Henry later took the child to a bedroom, and suffocated him, officers said. Henry allegedly killed Catalaya last.

The children’s father, Pedro Rios, said he found them dead.

“I can’t get that image out of my head,” he told 12 News. Rios said Rachel Henry was dead to him too.

Judging by a former co-worker’s story, the criminal case would be completely out of character for the defendant. Sherri Underwood, who worked with Henry at a Walmart in Prague, Oklahoma, described the alleged killer as a “down-to-earth person” who’d give the shirt off her back to anybody, and help any way she could. Underwood said Henry was working to take care of her sick mother, who has since passed away in March 2018.

“She had to be her caretaker,” the former co-worker said. “She did all her shopping for her, worked to pay the bills, Rachel had to do everything for her.”

Records viewed by Law&Crime show that an initial pretrial conference is scheduled for Tuesday.

[Mugshot via Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office]

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