WINDER - Felicia Williams Hill, 26, pleaded guilty Wednesday in the stabbing deaths of her two children.
Judge Robert Adamson sentenced Hill to serve two consecutive life sentences for the murders of 9-year-old Elexis Nicole Hill and 4-year-old James Ross Hill. As a condition of her plea, she will not be eligible for parole until she has served 60 years in prison.
She also pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge in which she was accused of hitting her father, Charles Barnes, in the head with a vase. She will serve an additional 20 years for that act.
Hill was charged with nine counts total of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and cruelty to children.
Barnes declined to comment on his daughter's plea.
Patricia Williams, Felicia Hill's mother-in-law and the children's grandmother, did not return calls for comment by press time. In an earlier interview she said she believed her daughter-in-law should get the death penalty.
"She took her kids' life and didn't even think twice," Patricia Williams said. "She didn't even give them a chance to grow up. She took off after doing what she did and didn't care if they lived or died."
She might have gotten her wish, had Felicia Hill not entered a guilty plea.
"We would have went for the death penalty," Barrow County Sheriff Joel Robinson said. "We figured she would plea when we picked her up. She was very remorseful."
Hill was visibly upset, the sheriff said.
"She admitted it and was crying the whole time," Robinson said.
Hill's plea saved Barrow County an estimated $250,000 to $500,000, Robinson said.
"They would have gone and gotten lawyers out of Atlanta, and the county would have had to do without some things," Robinson said.
Meanwhile, Hill waits in the Barrow County Detention Center before being moved into Georgia State Prison, where she could spend the rest of her life.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Web site, the estimated annual cost in 2001 to house a prisoner was $22,632.
On Jan. 3, Barrow County sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at 5:15 p.m. When they arrived at 691 Tanners Bridge Circle, they found the two children dead and Barnes suffering from a head injury.
Hill was arrested about 1 a.m. Jan. 9, six days after her children's deaths. An anonymous tip led Atlanta police to 1269 Gault St. S.E., where they found her in an apartment hiding in a closet under a pile of clothes.
Hill's initial charges included two counts of possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. Her arrest warrant said the knife used was more than three inches long. The grand jury did not indict Williams on those charges.
The Barneses continue to live in the home where the killings occurred.
Williams dropped out of Winder-Barrow High School before completing the ninth grade. Her arrest records in Winder and Barrow County date back to 2002 for prostitution, burglary, theft, shoplifting and parole violations. She was arrested in November on charges of shoplifting a roll of lottery tickets from the Kangaroo convenience store in Winder.
Hill had faced drug charges in Barrow County and was set to enter a substance abuse treatment program. She had agreed to enter a drug treatment program in lieu of probation. A Barrow County Superior Court judge had signed off on the waiver the same day Hill's children were found stabbed to death.
"She is an example of good people getting on drugs and letting them ruin her life," Robinson said.
Patricia Hill had said the same thing earlier.
"She opened the door with drugs and the devil came right in," Patricia Hill said shortly after her grandchildren's deaths.