MISSOULA — Leannah Jean Gardipe was sentenced in Missoula on Monday, November 20, 2023, for killing her two children as they were sleeping.
Gardipe was sentenced to spend the rest of her life in the custody of the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services by Judge Robert Deschamps.
In August 2023, Gardipe changed her plea to guilty to two counts of deliberate homicide.
The children were 3 and 5 years old at the time of their murders on November 19th, 2021, at their Patty Ann Drive residence.
Court documents state Gardipe's mother called 911 to report that her daughter had called her and that Gardipe said she "saved her babies."
She asked the defendant if that meant she had killed her children and the defendant began crying.
A few minutes later, Gardipe called 911 and said she "want(ed) to report a murder."
Gardipe told 911 that the event happened that morning and that it was done with a knife.
The defendant asked to send medical personnel. According to court documents, Gardipe told 911: "I was supposed to die today."
Sheriff's deputies found the children in their beds with knife wounds and defensive marks on their hands.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on the home, and found a note at the threshold of the bedroom where the children were found that read " [i]t was the only way that we all wouldn't burn, now I'm the only one of us that will."
Deputies recovered the knife underneath the bed.