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Hanover mom gets 25 years for axe attack on son

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A Hanover mother who attacked her son with an axe last February and then set her home on fire in an attempt to kill her three children will spend 25 in prison.

That was the sentence handed down for 30-year-old Kimberly K. Shepperson.

Shepperson faced life in prison on two attempted capital murder charges as well as arson and aggravated malicious wounding.

Click to read more about Kimberly Shepperson

Click photo  to read more about Kimberly Shepperson

Prosecutors argued Shepperson was distraught over the possibility of losing her children, aged 11, 7 and 10 months, to her ex-husband.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Evan Nelson testified Shepperson's violent attack may have stemmed from having a borderline bipolar disorder and taking an overly large dose of anti-anxiety medication.

On the stand, Shepperson told the court, "I love my children. At the time I was thinking I wanted them to be in a better place with me, in heaven."

The Hanover Commonwealth Attorney argued Shepperson had time to drug her 11-year-old son, hit him multiple times with an axe, disconnect the home's smoke alarms, and set multiple fires.

With that kind of planning and no evidence that she truly feels remorse, he believed Shepperson knew exactly what she was doing.

Even though the defense asked the judge to "temper justice with mercy" he sentenced Shepperson on the high-end of the court guidelines.


    • Dustin Cavanaygh

      She was mentally ill. You should be hung as you are a human being who uses logic that is detrimental to the advancement of humanity as a whole. In short, everything is not as it appears and this woman was mentally ill. On top of that she believed she would get peace from heaven. Christian ideals, brainwashing. Further proving Christianity is an abomination. You Christians should probably take a look at the history books and see why you are Christian. It’s because about 1000 years ago you killed anyone who refused to believe. Hitler killed fewer Jews than Christians killed Pagans and that is why Christianity is so prominent. Genocide by Christians. To this day Christian beliefs are oppressive to humanity and must be taught against.

      • Carmen Borden

        she wasn’t mentally ill. she was an evil parent who in all likely hood was going to loose her children because she’s unfit. as it is quite apparent. if she believed they were going to be together after death, why didn’t she kill herself after the fire started? stop making excuses for this p.o.s. and 25 yrs is a joke. 3 counts of attempted murder and arson should carry life period.

      • sumday

        You really are foolish. Heaven is a concept that pretty much every single religion has- it is not confined to Christianity alone. Your comment is irrational- perhaps it is you with the mental illness. People do bad things bc some people are just bad people period. It is not bc they have a mental illness it is bc they are just bad people who do care about who they hurt. There is no helping someone who is does not value human life beyond their own emotional justification. You entire reasoning that this women was mentally ill is based on your belief that a “normal” person would not have committed such an act therefore she must have a mental illness. You are simply trying to make an excuse for this women actions bc your mind cannot accept that some people do bad things to other people simply bc that person doesn’t care about human life.

    • Dustin Cavanaygh

      Because ignorant judges don’t realize mental illness doesn’t necessarily mean stupid. I am surrounded by idiots.

      • ho ho

        Hanover is a fine example of Christian zealots run amuck.look at some of the sentencing they give out.the woman is ill but this was a good chance to ruin a nobodys life for some brownies points in the da’s career.

      • sumday

        “Evil” acts do not always mean mental illness. Just bc someone does something so outrageous and “evil” does not mean they have a mental illness it just means they are a dangerous criminal. This lady did a lot of planning and it took time to complete this which shows she had a level of competence of understanding of what she was doing but did not care. She said she wanted her kids to be with her in “heaven” yet she didn’t try to kill her self, so if she was mentally ill she knew enough that her kids would be dead, but she would still be alive. Simply bc you can’t comprehend a “normal” person doing this type of act does NOT mean the women was mentally ill or that you are surrounded by idiots. It just means you are incapable of understanding or accepting that some people are “evil” and just do not care about human life beyond their own thoughts/emotions.

  • MitzZ

    I agree.. should hang her! And Dustin.. you speak as if you know for sure this lady was mentally ill.. and your rant on Christianity really had nothing to do with this case.. but you seem pretty 1-sided on the topic anyway so I won’t even go there. This lady is disturbed to say the least, but she knew what she was doing, enough to plan it out the way she did.. she’s not stupid. At least she got 25 yrs.. now let’s see how much of that time she’ll actually be behind bars…whatever it is, it won’t be enough.

    • Dustin Cavanaygh

      A doctor said she was mentally ill derp derp. And the fact you think Christianity has nothing to do with it shows your ignorance as Christianity has to do with everything today. “She knew what she was doing” and this does not mean she is not mentally ill. Mentally ill does not mean stupid. You are an example of stupid.

      • Carmen Borden

        she’s no more mental or suffering from any psych. issues than jodie arias. you can pay a dr. to say whatever you want, which is why they don’t have credibility. whenever a white woman kills or attempts to kill her children, out comes the excuses, oh she’s mental, she’s this or she’s that. no. she’s a psycho alright, but not in the clinical term. some people are just evil. period.

  • MitzZ

    Oh why thank you so much of great and wise one Dustin.. you have sure showed me the light.. I see the error of my ways… You are right.. I am stupid.. if a doctor says it.. it must be true… thank you so much Dustin.. you are wonderful!!!!!!!!!

  • Thomas Jones

    I guess being in prison is going to make it difficult for her to earn $7k a month working part time from home!

  • troll killa

    For the all the nervy know-nothings who think mental illness was not part of the equation… she had been institutionalized like a year or two earlier for attempted suicide. She needs help, not prison. There are obvious impulse control issues at play here. It’s easier on the system to just throw her in prison for life rather than rehabilitate.

    • Carmen Borden

      if she was a danger to herself and had been institutionalized, then what genius decided it was appropriate for her to have any relationship with her children that was not supervised? and she could have tried again to kill herself, no one was stopping her and its not difficult. people do it everyday with success. no “good” parent would ever consider murdering her child because of a custody dispute, its not a mental issue its a control issue. she’s exactly where she belongs. i wish her heII.

    • BKMart

      She hit one of her kids with an axe and tried to burn the others to death. She doesn’t GET another chance to do that…

  • Sara serrett

    If you don’t know her don’t judge her. I know Kim and she is amazing person and she was mentally I’ll she thought her son was dying and all she could think is what does my baby have to suffer and she raising three kids alone. She just wanted peace. She needed help and everywhere she turned she wasn’t getting it . Instead of bashing her visit me on Facebook under Willhunt. I will say that Kim is my angel and I will defend her defend until I die. Kim if you read this I love you keep your head up you are a beautiful person.

  • Carmen Borden

    wait one poster say she was hospitalized for mental illness and yet you say she didn’t receive any help. “bashing” is a poor word choice of words don’t you think, considering this is what she did to her child? too bad she didn’t suceed in ending her life. oh wait, she didn’t try. if kim is reading this then somethings wrong she should not be able to get online for anything. and stop lying. she’s not a beautiful person at all. she’s as ugly as the devil inside and out.

    • Troll killa

      You have a lot to say. You sound like you must have a lot of experience dealing with psychotic people. Perhaps you knew Kim? If so you would know that this incident was out of character for her. But it did happen and she has to face the consequences. It is a stretch to say that she wasn’t mental when the acts were committed.

      That’s the thing about mental illness. Sometimes you aren’t quite yourself. People use drugs and do stupid things all the time. Some people flip out and act stupid or kill people, often because of some psychotic compulsion. And sometimes armchair experts like Carmen think they know what they’re talking about.

      Brain chemistry can work against you folks. Sometimes people just snap!

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