Two years after she killed her parents and the family dog, the young transgender woman cried while at her sentencing hearing.
Around 1 am on October 31, 2016, 20-year-old Andrea, born Andrew Balcer, snapped and stabbed her mother, then her father, followed by the family dog to death.
Andrea, as the youngster prefers to be called, phoned 911 shortly after and told the dispatcher she snapped and killed her parents, but spared her brother, Christopher.
In an audio interview with the police, Andrea confessed to stabbing her mother Alice in the back while hugging her. When her father woke up and rushed into the kitchen of their home in Winthrop after hearing his wife’s screaming, Andrea stabbed him as well.
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The dog would not stop barking, so she made sure he never does anything again by stabbing it too. Her brother fled from the house.
Autopsy results showed that Alice, 47, got stabbed nine times in the back, while the father, Antonio, 47, got stabbed 12 times. Over the past two years during interviews with psychologists, Andrea said that she believed that her parents were not supportive of her being transgender and were abusive, and that triggered the murders when she snapped.
Her 27-year-old brother Christopher, living in Ohio, denies her claims and said that they were nothing but loving and supportive. During the sentencing hearing Christopher asked the judge to show no leniency as he said:
“I just want this to be over. Two years ago, my entire support system was destroyed. Justice cannot be served by what happens today. I want you to do all that’s possible to put this dangerous person away from society.”
During the hearing, Andrea said there was nothing she could do to express her remorse over what she did and said:
“I made a terrible mistake, one that cost the life of the two people who made me and raised me. Though no one may believe me, I am truly sorry for what I have done. I killed my parents.”
In September Andrea pleaded guilty in a plea deal that capped the maximum sentence at 55 years in prison. Because she was only 17 years old at the time, her defense had hoped for sentencing to be close to the 25-year minimum while the prosecution went for the maximum time of 55 years under the plea deal.
During sentencing, Justice Daniel Billings said his considerations when determining the sentence did not include Andrea’s struggle with her gender identity. Mitigating factors included her age, her good grades at school and accepting responsibility for her role in the crime and sentenced Andrea to 40 years in prison.
In a similar incident in Oklahoma, 16-year-old Michael Bever got sentenced for the premeditative murder of his parents and three younger siblings in 2015. His 13 and 2-year-old sisters survived the attack in their Tulsa home.
Michael and his older brother had planned the murder and stabbed their mother, father, a five-year-old sister and two younger brothers to death.
According to neighbors, the parents kept their children on a tight leash, tight enough to homeschool them and forbid them to talk or play with anyone outside the family.
16-year-old Michael told the police at the time that his parents beat him, and described how he planned to kill them and hoped that it would bring him fame.
Now 19 years old, Michael got sentenced to 28 years in prison for assault and five consecutive life sentences.
In a somewhat related case, parents in Liverpool, England also felt the need to have a tight leash on their 19-month-old girl. When out of the house they would literally have her in a harness, and at home, she was kept in a bed converted into a type of cage. The room had no exit because the windows were covered with a mattress and a sheet.
Little Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle died in March in a two bedroom apartment in Preston. When authorities found her lifeless body in the ‘cage’ built around her bed, marks on her wrists and ankles were visible.
The mother explained that they tied Ellie-May to the bed with the intention that she would sleep through the night and generate a sleeping routine.
According to autopsy results, the Ellie-May died of forced restriction due to ligatures in a face-down position with the complication of hyperthermia. The parents got convicted and sentenced to 10 years each for the death of Ellie-May.
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