Darlington mom sentenced to 120 years for murdering her children
Shannon Hall, Journal & Courier
Published 4:35pm ET Mar. 19, 2018 | Updated 4:55pm ET Mar. 19, 2018
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — When their oldest child was born, Jason and Brandi Worley promised their kids came first, Jason Worley said Monday.
But his ex-wife didn't keep that promise.
Brandi Worley, 31, of Darlington, was sentenced to 120 years for murdering her two children — 7-year-old Tyler and 3-year-old Charlee.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Harry Siamas sat quiet for more than four minutes before carrying out the sentence Monday.
He said everyone wants an explanation for an unnatural event — a parent killing his or her children.
"Sometimes there is no explanation," Siamas said. "Darkness is in this world. ... And it penetrates minds and our hearts."
He sentenced Worley to 55 years on count one and 65 years on count two with the two sentences to run consecutively. Twice, Siamas asked Brandi Worley if she had anything to say, and she refused both times.
Jason and Brandi Worley were engaged for two years before they got married.
Tyler was born 10 weeks early. After that, Jason and Brandi made a promise to each other.
"We always said the children would come first, before each other or our marriage," he said.
The two discussed separating in the past, he said, but they stayed together despite some friction.
"She understood why we were getting a divorce," Jason Worley said.
The next day the four went to a dance program for Charlee before heading home to eat dinner.
Brandi Worley told her husband she needed to get pipe cleaners for Tyler for school, Jason Worley said.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Joseph Buser said that's when Brandi Worley bought a knife before heading back to the house.
The family played on a Murphy bed before Jason bathed the kids and got them ready for bed, Jason Worley said.
"I told them that 'I love you and I'll see you in the morning,' " he said.
After Jason Worley went to the basement where he planned to sleep, Brandi Worley told Tyler he could do a "sleepover" in his sister's room.
At 4:35 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2016, Worley called 911 and said she stabbed herself and killed her two children, according to police. Officers found 7-year-old Tyler and 3-year-old Charlee Worley dead in a bedroom with deep lacerations to their necks, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Tyler had three deep stab wounds and one superficial one. Charlee also had three stabs.
Jason Worley said he woke after hearing screaming. He didn't know who or what it was.
When he got upstairs, he saw his ex-mother-in-law hysterically crying in the kitchen. Brandi Worley was sitting in the living room when he asked her what happened.
"She said 'Now you can't take my children from me,' " he said.
Officers on scene took Jason Worley outside. But the walkie talkies were on.
"Two deceased children in the house," he told the court.
Buser said Brandi Worley planned to kill herself as well.
He said she told officers that "somehow (she) screwed that up" and that she "didn't want them to live without" her. Buser said it was a selfish act because she wanted to die with them.
Worley never expressed regret about killing her children, Buser said.
"Now (Jason Worley) can't take his kids to school anymore," he said. "She was more apt at killing."
Mark Inman, Brandi Worley's attorney, said Monday was a difficult day.
Letters given to the court read that Brandi Worley was a "wonderful, caring mother," according to the prosecution.
Inman said that was who she was. But those few hours in November, Brandi Worley snapped, he said.
"Such a tragic and unimaginable ... I can't imagine," Inman said. "My job as Brandi's attorney is to give you an explanation on why this happened. I can't do that."
Since November 2016, Brandi Worley was diagnosed with depression and has been unemotional, Inman said.
"That's the only way she knows how to deal with it at this point," he said.
Tyler loved sports, Jason Worley said. He was a loving boy in general.
"He could walk into a room with 20 strangers and come out with 20 friends," Jason said.
Tyler wanted to work on computers like Jason does.
"Both children had very bright futures," Jason Worley said.
Charlee, he said, was a big ball of attitude. She loved getting dressed up and wouldn't leave the house without braids or a bow in her hair.
"Charlee was becoming her own person," he said.
He hadn't talked to Brandi since November 16, 2016. The divorce finalized in March 2017.
"My children were my life," Jason Worley said. "They were my everything."