Texas mom to plead guilty in death of son in NH, found in South Berwick, Maine

Boys Roadside Body
AP Photo/Jim Cole, File

In this May 19, 2011 file photo, Julianne McCrery, 42, of Irving, Texas, arrives in District Court in Portsmouth, N.H. Court officials say McCrery, accused of killing her 6-year-old son in New Hampshire and disposing of his body in rural Maine will plead guilty.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Texas woman accused of killing her 6-year-old son in New Hampshire and disposing of his body in rural Maine will plead guilty to killing him, court officials said.

Boys Roadside Body
AP Photo

This undated file photo provided by Shirley Miller shows Camden Hughes. Hughes' mother, Julianne McCrery, is accused of killing the 6-year-old in May 2011 and leaving his body on a dirt road in Maine. Court officials said Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 that McCreary has agreed to plead guilty to killing him.

Forty-two-year-old Julianne McCrery is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her son, Camden Hughes.

Her lawyers did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press. McCrery pleaded not guilty in May and has since waived all other court appearances. A Rockingham Superior Court clerk says no date has been set for her to enter her guilty plea.

The discovery of Camden's body under a blanket on a dirt road in South Berwick, Maine, on May 14 launched a nationwide effort to identify him. Even as that effort was under way, McCrery called his Irving, Texas, elementary school daily to report him absent.

A medical examiner says Camden died of asphyxiation. The mother and son had stayed in a New Hampshire motel the weekend before his body was discovered.

Texas public records show that McCrery was arrested at least twice on prostitution charges and once for possession with intent to distribute drugs. In 2009, she was sentenced to one year in prison for a misdemeanor conviction of prostitution. In 2004, she was sentenced to three years of probation for a felony conviction of possession of a controlled substance.

Law enforcement authorities and friends have portrayed McCrery as a loving but troubled mother whose mood swings often prompted her to take lengthy road trips. It was on one of those trips, New Hampshire prosecutors say, that McCrery killed her son at a Hampton, N.H., motel. His body was found just over the border in Maine.

McCrery was arrested at a Chelmsford, Mass., rest stop on May 17 after being spotted by a trucker.

A lawyer who represented her at a brief court appearance in Massachusetts has said he got the impression from McCrery that her intent was to take her son's life and then kill herself.

"I believe she was there to bring both herself and her son to heaven," attorney George Murphy said in May. "She told me, 'I love my son very much. I know where he is. He's in heaven, and I want to go there as soon as possible.'"

McCrery's mother, LuRae McCrery, said she did not know her daughter was going to enter a guilty plea. She said they last spoke about a week ago and that her daughter has sounded "real depressed" in their last few phone conversations.

"I definitely think she needs some help," LuRae McCrery said.

She said she's also certain her daughter planned to kill herself as well.

"She regrets that Camden's gone. I think she regrets not completing the act," McCrery said. "I've lost them both, as far as I'm concerned."

Shirley Miller, a close family friend, said Wednesday that she was still grappling with the death of the boy who called her "Grandma Shirley."

"We go to the store and see something we want to buy Camden," Miller said. "It's a sad time."

Miller said McCrery was a good mother and that only enhanced the shock she felt at news of the boy's killing.

"I still haven't brought myself to writing her yet," Miller said. "I liked her so well in one sense, but I hate her actions."

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 's picture

needs help?

it appears that HER path of prostitution and drugs brought her to kill her own child. where was this childs help then? The child needed help for quite some time it seems.
SHE needs help is right, and I don't mean 3 meals a day and a roof over her head

 's picture


"I definitely think she needs some help," LuRae McCrery said.

Oh really? What about this little boy? What kind of help did he get? She is guilty and shouldn't get any deals or anything else. Throw the book at her!

It is her fault - people need to start taking responsibility for their actions, regardless of their mental state or addictions.

Jim Cyr's picture

Why bother

with "the book" ? She should get a rope at sun rise! OH! that maybe "cruel and unusual"!!!!

Jason Theriault's picture

I hate this story so much.

My son looks alot like the kid, and even had Lightning McQueen shoes, and so this whole thing triggers my "fatherly" instincts.

RONALD RIML's picture

Mental capacities????

When did it occur to Isaac that there was no 'Animal' to be sacrificed as he was helping his father Abraham carry wood up to the mount where God had commanded Abraham to make a burnt offering to Him.

So McCrery didn't get the word from an Angel that perhaps this was all 'Just a Drill'

 's picture

It is really so sad that we

It is really so sad that we live in a world where this sort of criminal behavior is becoming the norm and that the people committing such atrocious crimes are viewed as victims due to their mental incapacities. There is no excuse that makes this alright. We all live our lives by the choices that we make. This woman chose to take the life of her own son. She might have told people she intended to take her own life as well, but the sheet fact of it is that she did not do that. She killed a little boy, her little boy. I hope they throw the book at her. Only God can forgive her now.

Roger Moulton's picture


I know they say a mother's love is unconditional but if that were my grandchild I wouldn't even speak to that crazy lady. If she is entering a guilty plea I'm sure it's in exchange for some deal for a shorter sentence. This lady should be tortured to death. And I don't want to hear about her mental illness or any b.s. that she needs help. What she needs is to be removed from this earth.

Jason Theriault's picture

I find it offensive

That she is still breathing air. She had no problem killing her son, but she was too much of a coward to do herself.


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