Father Speaks After Trial Set For Woman Accused Of Strangling Children
LAYTON, Utah – A trial is in sight for the Layton woman accused of strangling and killing her two children in 2010, deaths her ex-husband said, “were not accidental.”
“I hope that people still remember,” said Kenneth Warhola, nine years after he said he found the bodies of his two children in his home. “They were good kids.”
James, 8, was a creative third grader in 2010. His 7-year-old sister, Jean Marie, loved singing, dancing and princesses. All that’s left are the pictures and mementos Warhola keeps behind a glass case and the many memories he still has of them.
“They had their whole lives ahead of them,” said Warhola, who has tried to keep their memory alive. “That was taken away. That was taken away from them.”
On Sept. 8, 2010, Warhola came home from work to find their mother Sun Cha barricaded in their son’s room. Police said Warhola forced his way inside, where he found the bodies of his two children on the bed, covered in a blanket. Their mother, Sun Cha, is accused of strangling them. Investigators said some injuries showed the children had struggled to make her stop.
Warhola has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated murder.
“I want justice for both of them. That’s what I want,” Warhola said.
A trial for the case was finally scheduled after Sun Cha spent eight years in the Utah State Hospital. On Monday, she stood next to her attorney and translator, shackled and silent — but according to recent mental health evaluations — competent to stand trial.
“There’s significant mental health issues in this case and it’s going to require preparation,” her attorney told the judge during Monday’s brief court appearance. He asked the judge to schedule the trial, which he anticipates taking five days, for Jan. 2021.
“As far as being a danger to James and Jean, I didn’t see that,” Warhola said, adding he did see some violence in her.
Warhola hopes those involved in the case don’t lose sight of the two children he lost. He’s called for a prison sentence of at least 25 years for Sun Cha.
“These murders were not accidental,” Warhola said. “They were innocent kids. They were just young.”
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