Hanover mom gets 25 years for axe attack on son

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jan 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-23 12:12:02-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A Hanover mother who attacked her son with an axe last February and then set her home on fire in an attempt to kill her three children will spend 25 in prison.

That was the sentence handed down for 30-year-old Kimberly K. Shepperson.

Shepperson faced life in prison on two attempted capital murder charges as well as arson and aggravated malicious wounding.

Click to read more about Kimberly Shepperson

Click photo  to read more about Kimberly Shepperson

Prosecutors argued Shepperson was distraught over the possibility of losing her children, aged 11, 7 and 10 months, to her ex-husband.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Evan Nelson testified Shepperson's violent attack may have stemmed from having a borderline bipolar disorder and taking an overly large dose of anti-anxiety medication.

On the stand, Shepperson told the court, "I love my children. At the time I was thinking I wanted them to be in a better place with me, in heaven."

The Hanover Commonwealth Attorney argued Shepperson had time to drug her 11-year-old son, hit him multiple times with an axe, disconnect the home's smoke alarms, and set multiple fires.

With that kind of planning and no evidence that she truly feels remorse, he believed Shepperson knew exactly what she was doing.

Even though the defense asked the judge to "temper justice with mercy" he sentenced Shepperson on the high-end of the court guidelines.