Mum to stand trial for murder over daughters' hot car deaths

·2-min read

A Queensland mother accused of killing her two daughters by leaving them locked in a car parked in soaring temperatures has wept as she was committed to stand trial for their murders.

Toddlers Darcey-Helen, 2, and Chloe-Ann, 1, were found dead in a black station wagon parked in the front yard of their Logan home, south of Brisbane, in November, 2019.

Their mother, Kerri-Ann Conley, is charged with two counts of murder under a new definition in Queensland which includes reckless indifference to human life.

She is the first person to be charged under the expanded definition, which came into law in March 2019.

Kerri-Ann Conley, the mother of two girls who died after exposure to extreme heat inside a car at Logan.
Kerri-Ann Conley, the mother of two girls who died after exposure to extreme heat inside of a car, is charged with their murders. Source: AAP

A barefoot and emotional Conley struggled to hold back tears as she faced a committal hearing in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

At times she refused to look at witnesses, instead focusing on a supporter in the court gallery.

Police will allege Conley put her two young daughters in the car around 6.30am before going back inside her home that day.

The girls remained in the station wagon as temperatures soared to 31 degrees and were not discovered until after 1pm — more than seven hours later.

A panicked Conley reportedly put her daughters in a cold bath as paramedics were called, but they could not be revived.

The girls were declared dead at the scene showing signs of being exposed to extreme heat.

Tributes are seen at a house on Logan Reserve Road, Waterford West in Brisbane where the toddlers were found dead. Source: AAP
Toddlers Darcey-Helen, 2, and Chloe-Ann, 1, were found dead in a black station wagon parked in the front yard of their Logan home in November 2019. Source: AAP

Darcey-Helen's father Peter Jackson gave evidence at the hearing that both girls were scheduled to visit the weekend they died.

He tried to phone some 18 times and sent repeated text messages to ask where they were but could not raise Conley on the morning of the tragedy, the hearing was told.

She finally returned his calls just before 1.30pm, around the same time paramedics had been called.

Police prosecutor Tim Wise said police had collected more than 140 statements to be tendered as evidence.

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll ordered Conley to stand trial as the tearful accused declined to enter a plea.

She blew a kiss to her supporter in the gallery as she was returned to custody.

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