A Chesapeake, Virginia woman has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for murdering her mother and then sending a photo of the body to her father’s cell phone, reports the Associated Press.

Rachel Hutson was reportedly the caretaker of her seriously ill mother, Susan Lee Hutson, until the early morning hours of November 29, 2013. The Virginian-Pilot has some unsettling details:

Susan Lee Hutson didn’t think her daughter was serious when she lifted the shotgun.

She told Rachel she was crazy, that she would tell her dad about this when he got home, Rachel Hutson testified.

Then Hutson pulled the trigger.

Rachel’s father, Donald, was reportedly out doing some pre-dawn Black Friday shopping when he received a phone call from his daughter. Rachel reportedly told him what she’d done, but Donald didn’t believe her and hung up the phone.

From a Daily Mail report of the crime:

He testified that he then tried to call his wife, but his daughter picked up.

Rachel sent a photo of her mother’s bloody body to her father’s cellphone to prove what she had done, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

“That’s when I realized this is probably real,” Donald testified in court.


This is a terribly sad story all the way around. Susan Lee Hutson reportedly had congestive heart failure, kidney failure and diabetes, and 19-year-old Rachel had been acting as a caregiver since she was nine. Rachel told the court she’d been depressed for as long as she could remember, and intended to commit suicide that day.

She said she planned to kill herself that morning and that her mother’s death was more of an afterthought. She thought her suicide would be too hard on her mom, and she didn’t want her mom to discover her body, she said.

“I felt like I was just nothing, and nobody really needed us,” Hutson said.

Rachel’s sister, Sarah, testified that she thinks Rachel had an undiagnosed mental disorder.

[Associated Press] [Virginian-Pilot] [Daily Mail]

Screengrab via YouTube