West Virginia woman sentenced to life in prison for killing her daughter

West Virginia

Julie Orellana was first accused of the crime in 2018

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) — On September 20, 2018, a West Virginia woman was accused of shooting and stabbing her 8-year-old daughter 35 times and wounding her other 11-year-old daughter at the time when she tried escaping. Now almost two years later, the surviving daughter wrote a letter to her mother on the day she was sentenced.

48-year-old Julie Orellana was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 3-to-15 years. Orellana plead guilty back in January to single counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder and was denied being given mercy, or the opportunity of parole in February. 

Fast forward to Monday, according to court documents, an attorney representing the surviving daughter read a letter saying “The reason for doing what you did was sick. I don’t have a sister anymore, I loved her and she was my best friend. You have given me nothing but depression, bad dreams and fear.”

Court documents also state that Orellana previously testified in court that she planned to kill both daughters and then take her own life so they could spend their eternal life together in Heaven, she didn’t want to leave her children without a mother.

Orellana was found guilty of luring her daughters to their bedrooms to look under the bed for their kittens, and that’s when she opened fire. The surviving daughter was shot in the leg but was able to escape, but the 8-year-old suffered 35 stab wounds. 16 hours later, Orellana was detained and was found with numerous weapons, but also a six-page letter outlining her reasons for shooting her children. Now, she is sentenced to life in prison.


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