Detroit mom remorseless in ‘death of those demons’
Detroit — A mother accused of killing two of her children and stuffing their bodies in a freezer pleaded guilty to their slayings in court Monday, detailing their gruesome deaths.
Mitchelle Blair’s appearance Monday came after 36th District Judge Dana Hathaway adjourned a hearing Friday so she and lawyers for both sides could review results of an independent examination meant to determine if Blair was fit to stand trial. Blair, 36, was found competent, Hathaway said.
Blair pleaded guilty to premeditated murder and felony murder. She had been charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of premeditated murder and one count of torture. Hathaway accepted the plea after hearing the details of how the children died.
The bodies of 13-year-old Stoni Blair and 9-year-old Stephen Berry were found in March in a freezer in the family’s townhouse in the Martin Luther King housing complex as eviction officers inspected the family’s residence. Stephen died Aug. 30, 2012. Stoni died May 25, 2013. An autopsy revealed they died from blunt injuries, burns and strangulation.
“I intentionally killed her,” Blair told the court of Stoni on Monday. “I punched her. I put a bag over her head until she lost consciousness.”
She said she also threw scalding water on Stoni, hit her in the head multiple times and starved her by only giving her oatmeal once a day.
Blair said she did not need to think about her decision, saying she was protecting a surviving relative from alleged sexual abuse.
“If I had a chance to do it again, I would,” Blair said Monday. “I do not feel any remorse for what I did to Stoni because she had no remorse for what she did.”
Blair said she didn’t intentionally set out to kill Stephen, but she would be proud to say she did it. She admitted she put a garbage bag over his head, choked him with a belt, punched him and burned him with scalding water.
“I don’t feel no remorse for the death of those demons,” she said.
Blair will be sentenced July 17.
Before accepting Blair’s plea, Hathaway reviewed with her, a couple of times, the weight of her decision.
“I want to make sure you understand this isn’t a sentence agreement between you and the people,” Hathaway said. “You are voluntarily admitting to these two counts and subjecting yourself to the sentence (of life in prison.) Is that correct?”
“Yes,” Blair responded.
Blair’s attorney, Wyatt Harris, told Hathaway he and his client discussed entering the plea at least three times.
When asked if she called police to report the alleged abuse, Blair said she called for advice. She said she did not pursue it further because she was afraid her surviving son and daughter would be removed from her home.
“After I found out about Stephen, before I had started hitting him, I did actually call police on advice,” she said. “I told them a hypothetical situation because I was scared. What was going to happen with my other two? I definitely didn’t want to lose (the surviving children.)”
Blair said she would not allow her children to abuse others.
“She was placed in a very difficult situation,” Harris said of what his client described as abuse of a relative. “The circumstances were such that she had nowhere to go. She felt she had nowhere to go.”
Harris added: “I know this was a difficult day for her.”
After the hearing, Alexander Dorsey, father of Stoni Blair, said: “It is what it is. All I can do is pray and stay positive.”
Dorsey said he doesn’t believe Blair’s claims of abuse.
“None of it,” he said.