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Mom pleads guilty but mentally ill to daughter's death

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - Feb 13th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

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WEST JORDAN — A West Jordan woman who killed her daughter before attempting to kill herself has pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the charges against her.

Originally charged with first-degree felony murder, Mary Ethyl Hansen, 53, entered the plea to manslaughter and felony discharge of a firearm, both second-degree felonies, in 3rd District Court.

When police responded to Hansen's home at 8366 Bard Lane on March 21, she admitted to an officer that she'd shot her 18-year-old daughter because they had a suicide pact, according to the charges. She also told an investigator that she and her daughter, Virginia, "wanted to die."

The woman told others at the hospital that she and her daughter suffered from a mental illness, the charges state.


After shooting her daughter, Mary Hansen shot herself in the head. She then drove herself to the home of a neighbor, honked her horn and asked the neighbor to call 911.

The woman then drove back to her home, a few houses away. Police found her bleeding and still inside her vehicle when they arrived. After she was taken to the hospital, a police officer said he overheard Hansen tell medical personnel that she had shot her daughter twice, then shot herself.

Virginia Hansen's body was located in a bedroom of the home. A revolver was located nearby.

According to court records, Hansen has been referred to the Utah State Hospital for examination in advance of her sentencing, currently set for May 8. Attorneys on the case have stipulated that the woman will be sentenced to consecutive prison terms of one to 15 years and three to 15 years.


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