Susan Hendricks appears in court Friday afternoon. (Apr. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina)
Susan Hendricks appears before an Upstate judge following her arrest. (File/FOX Carolina)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -
The Liberty woman deputies said killed four family members, including her two sons, appeared in court on Friday where she pleaded guilty but mentally ill.
Susan Hendricks, 49, was charged with murder in the 2011 shooting deaths of her two sons, ex-husband and her stepmother at a home in Liberty. Friday she received four life sentences without the possibility of parole.
FOX Carolina crews were in court for Hendricks' appearance, where photographer Mike Birchfield said Hendricks pleaded guilty but mentally ill.
Mark Hendricks, 54, his two sons, 20-year-old Marshall Hendricks and 23-year-old Matthew Hendricks and their grandmother, 64-year-old Linda Burns, were found shot to death on Oct. 14 at two homes on Pinedale Road in Liberty.
Prosecutors said earlier in their investigation that Susan Hendricks killed her family in an attempt to collect more than $700,000 from life insurance policies she took out on them, but they did not identify or confirm a motive at her plea hearing and sentencing.
Investigators said that Hendricks claimed that one of her sons killed the other three family members and then turned the gun on himself. However, investigators said Susan Hendricks killed the four people so she could collect the insurance money.
A few months after the shootings, prosecutors said they were working to build enough evidence to secure a death penalty if she is convicted. However, prosecutors accepted Hendricks' plea and she was sentenced to four life sentences.
"Based on her mental illness, based on the facts that we had at time, four life sentences seemed satisfactory for us as well as the victims in the family," said Solicitor Walt Wilkins.
Hendricks has 10 days to appeal her plea.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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