Jurors were visibly shaken in court on Monday as they heard just how a New York City nanny murdered two children in her care five years ago.
Yoselyn Ortega, 55, is currently on trial for the murders of Lucia and Leo Krim, who were six and two years old in October 2012 when their mother came home and found them stabbed to death in a bathtub of their Upper West Side apartment.
The Dominican nanny stabbed herself in the neck just as the Krim’s mother was coming in the door, but she survived her injuries.
Ortega, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, sat emotionless in court on Monday as Dr Susan Ely, a city medical examiner, told the jury how the children suffered before they died.
Yoselyn Ortega, 55, is currently on trial for first-degree murder in the deaths of two children she used to babysit in New York City. She’s pictured above in court on March 2
Lucia, six (right), and Leo Krim, two (left), were brutally butchered to death in their Upper West Side apartment on October 25, 2012, while their mother was out picking their little sister up from swim class
According to the New York Post, one female juror was left shaking after she heard how Ortega cut Leo’s neck with a kitchen knife – leaving a 1.5-inch deep wound in his neck.
‘On a small boy that’s a deep wound,’ the medical examiner said.
In fact, Leo was stabbed so many times that he had no blood left in his body when he ended up on the autopsy table.
Another juror’s mouth fell open for several minutes as she listened to details about Lucia’s severe abdominal wounds.
The New York Daily News said one juror shook as the jury pool was shown a diagram of Lucia’s body, showing how Ortega sliced and stabbed the girl 30 times on her head, neck, torso, arms and hands. Twenty-two of the wounds were to her neck, while another six were to her stomach. Leo had six wounds, all to his neck.
This isn’t the first time that jurors have responded emotionally to testimony in the trial, which started on March 1.
In court on Monday, Dr. Susan Ely (center), a city medical examiner, testified about how the two children died.
The children’s parents, Kevin and Marina Krim, recorded a video shortly before their old nanny went on trial
Last week, a juror was kicked off the trial when he said he could no longer be fair and impartial after seeing horrific pictures from the crime scene.
Ely said both children suffered horribly before they died because it took them several minutes to bleed out.
‘They didn’t die initially. Only some of [the knife wounds] were fatal. That takes an order of minutes, not seconds,’ Ely said. ‘Bleeding to death takes minutes.’
While under cross examination by defense attorney Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, Ely testified that Ortega wasn’t under the influence of any drugs when she carried out the attack, and she didn’t give the kids any drugs or alcohol to ease their pain.
Leo may not have seen the attack coming, since he may have had his neck cut from behind, but the autopsy was inconclusive on that.
Tragically, the wounds on Lucia’s body show that she tried to fight back.
The medical examiner said it looks as though Lucia twister her body away as she was being attacked.
The injuries on her arms and hands proved there was ‘quite a lot of movement and struggle to get away from this knife’.
‘Lucia Krim had her hands up at some point while she was being stabbed,’ she testified.
In this harrowing hand-written notes penned after the killings, Yoselyn Ortega said: ‘I had to do everything and take care of the kids. I worked as a babysitter only and she wanted me to do everything. She wanted five hours of cleaning every week’
Photos of two bloodied knives were shown to jurors in court last week
One knife used in the stabbing murders was found in the bathroom sink just inches from a pink child’s toothbrush
‘In some way they got between the knife and her body during the course of the violence,’ the doctor added.
It’s unclear which of the children died first, but by the time paramedics arrived on the scene, it was clear they were both gone.
Marina Krim realized something was wrong when she went to pick Lucia up from dance class and realized her daughter was not there. She then sent these frantic text messages to her nanny
Later in court on Monday, NYPD Detective Jennifer O’Connell told the court about what she saw when she responded to the scene on October 25, 2012.
She says she knew the children were dead as soon as she saw their bodies in a bathtub of the apartment, laying in a pool of blood. They were white as a sheet and their eyes were open and glassy.
‘They were just staring at each other,’ O’Connell said.
‘Their eyes were opened, and it looked as if nothing was in there. They were staring at each other,’ she added.
O’Connell also spoke about how she comforted the children’s mother, who came home from picking her other daughter up from swim class to find her two eldest children dead.
O’Connell said the mother convulsed and clutched her surviving daughter in the ambulance as they rushed the kids to the hospital.
Ortega is trying to mount an insanity case, and has claimed she was ‘touched by the devil’ who made her commit the vicious crime.
On Monday, her attorney asked the medical examiner if the children’s injuries ‘show the actions of someone who is just totally imploded, who doesn’t have control?’
‘I can’t be inside someone’s mind,’ Ely said. ‘I can tell you what the body tells us. The body doesn’t lie.’
Photos of a bloodied knife wrapped in a towel in the hallway (top of image) and blood spattered on the floor and walls were among the images shown in court last week
One bloodied knife was found wrapped in a towel in the hallway on top of a toy refrigerator
Two kitchen knives were used in the stabbing attack. The images were taken inside the apartment roughly seven hours after mother Marina Krim found her children’s bodies
Ortega, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, refused to look and stared straight ahead when the photos taken inside the apartment were shown to the court
If Ortega is found guilty, she faces the rest of her life behind bars. If she’s found no guilty by reason of insanity, she could spent the rest of her life in a mental institution.
Ortega’s behavior during the trial certainly paints her as deranged – whether it’s sincere or an act.
Last week, when a retired NYPD detective testified about his interactions with Ortega after the crime, she started laughing in court.
At other points in Francis Brennan’s testimony, Ortega rolled her eyes and shook her head. She muttered something in Spanish while tightening her fist at one point.
Earlier in the case, the court heard what Ortega first told police as she recovered in the hospital, using her statement to complain about the cleaning duties she’d been asked to perform in the Krim home.
A still image from a surveillance camera at Beacon Hardware is seen. The defendant Yoselyn Ortega, 55, and the two children are in the lower left-hand corner, just hours before the attack. the Krim’s other daughter, Nessie, is seen being pushed in a stroller. Nessie was not at home at the time of the attack
Two days after the attack, shackled to a hospital bed and with a tube down her throat, she dictated statements to NYPD Sgt. Yoel Hidalgo, using an alphabet board.
She said: ‘I had to do everything and take care of the kids. I worked as a babysitter only and she wanted me to do everything. She wanted five hours of cleaning every week.’
Ortega also said she didn’t want to clean, ‘because of soap’. Hidalgo told jurors she pointed to her pinky finger after making this statement.
In the days before the killings, Marina said Ortega had shown her a bleach burn on her pinky finger. Marina went out and bought natural cleaning products, she testified in court last week.
She also said she paid Ortega $100 extra per week for the five hours of cleaning, according to the New York Post.
Kevin and Marina Krim, the parents of the children, recorded a video last month, shortly before Ortega went on trial.
The couple asked that with their case coming up in the news again, that people promote the foundation they started in honor of their slain children, the Lulu and Leo Fund, which aims to support innovative art programs for children.
Since the death of their two eldest children, the could have gone on to have two more kids, Felix, born in 2013, and Linus, born in 2016.