- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Declaring a “house of horrors” closed, a judge sentenced a Detroit mother to life in prison Friday for killing two of her four children and storing their bodies for years in a home freezer.

Mitchelle Blair was charged, convicted and sentenced in less than four months, since a shocked eviction crew discovered the bodies in a freezer in March. She pleaded guilty in June to first-degree murder, insisting she’d take the death penalty if Michigan had it.

“You imposed the death penalty on your own children,” Judge Dana Hathaway said.

“I did,” Blair, 36, replied.

Blair killed her 13-year-old daughter, Stoni, in 2013 and 9-year-old son, Stephen, in 2012. She claims they had sexually abused a sibling, although she didn’t witness the alleged assaults and never reported anything to police.

“There is no evidence … the younger child was sexually abused. Abundant evidence that the surviving children were physically abused (by Blair),” prosecutor Carin Goldfarb told the judge.

Blair admits pouring hot water on the children who died, beating them with sticks and putting trash bags over their heads.

“As a mother, one of your primary responsibilities was to protect your kids,” Hathaway said. “And in that respect, you failed in the worst possible way. … Thankfully, that house of horrors that you created is no longer in existence.”

Before receiving the mandatory, no-parole sentence, Blair spent several minutes criticizing the fathers of the children who didn’t have much of a role in their lives. Defense attorney Wyatt Harris said Blair was abused as a child, had little education and then had her own children.

“I’m not making an excuse, but it didn’t allow her to cope with the situation,” Harris said.

Friends and neighbors said they didn’t know there was trouble in the home and rarely saw Blair’s four children. Two surviving kids, ages 17 and 8, have been placed with an aunt.

Blair has expressed no remorse and refers to the dead children as “demons.”

“I haven’t lied about anything,” she told the judge Friday. “As horrendous as everybody think I am - that’s fine.”

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Follow Ed White at https://twitter.com/edwhiteap

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