Phoenix woman sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her two young daughters

·1 min read
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is pictured on Oct. 25, 2020.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is pictured on Oct. 25, 2020.

The Maricopa County Superior Court sentenced Retta Cruse, 36, to two consecutive life sentences for the Sept. 8, 2021, first-degree murder of her two daughters, according to a news release from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Cruse pled guilty to both first-degree murder charges, one for 9-year-old Aleyah McIntyre and the second for 4-year-old Royal McIntyre, The Arizona Republic reported in September 2021.

Arrest records obtained by The Republic show Phoenix police officers responded to a 911 call to the Phoenix home, where they found the two girls lying on a bed dead with their arms around each other, looking as if they were placed there, police wrote in the probable cause statement.

Records show police found evidence that Cruse used both prescription and over-the-counter medication to sedate and overdose the two girls.

Officers found Cruse in a different bedroom, where she had barricaded herself by pushing a bed up against the door, the arrest record shows. She had multiple stab wounds and lacerations, with a knife found near her, and she was transported to the hospital for medical treatment.

In addition, police said in the arrest record that they found a handwritten note near the two girls that explained Cruse’s motives and had a signature that was very similar to the signature on Cruse’s driver’s license.

While the arrest records show she initially said she didn’t know how the girls died or have any knowledge of the confession note, she pleaded guilty to both crimes during her trial.

Her two consecutive life sentences mean she will not be eligible for release at any point in her lifetime, according to the news release.

Reach breaking news reporter Sam Burdette at sburdette@gannett.com or on Twitter @SuperSafetySam

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix woman sentenced to life for the murder of her two children