MURRAY -- A woman who pleaded guilty to assault and imprisonment charges after injecting children with insulin must spend 20 years in prison, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Heather McCutcheon, 37, of Murray, had pleaded guilty but mentally ill to four counts of second-degree assault -- two of which were designated as domestic violence -- and four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
McCutcheon was arrested in April after deputies said she had chased multiple children around the house and injected them with insulin.
The children were treated at a local hospital where their blood sugar was found to be lower than levels that require immediate treatment.
McCutcheon's brother-in-law reported that he heard the children screaming when he returned home, according to the complaint against her.
Assistant Calloway County Commonwealth's Attorney James Burkeen called the crime "one of the most scary and serious charges we've seen so far in this court."
The guilty but mentally ill designation allows Powers to receive treatment from state resources, and for that treatment time to count toward her sentence.
Circuit Judge James Jameson told McCutcheon, "It's an awful offense, awful situation."
Referencing the confidential pre-sentence investigation, Jameson said he hoped that McCutcheon would be able to address the matters that contributed to the crime.
"Regardless of what you've done, you have value as a human being. I don't know how to get you beyond what has occurred in your past," Jameson said.
"I wish you the best of luck, but we've got to deal with what's in front of us."
Jameson sentenced her to five years on all the charges except one imprisonment charge, on which he sentenced her to four years.
Some of the charges he ordered served consecutively, for a total of 19 years, with the others running concurrently.
Jameson also sentenced McCutcheon to serve one year each on five counts of third-degree assault on a corrections officer.
He ordered those sentences to run concurrently with each other, but consecutively to the assault and imprisonment sentences.
McCutcheon must also register on the list commonly used for sex offenders, despite not being convicted of a sex offense.
Jameson said that was mandated by law due to the nature of the crimes she committed against minor victims.
He gave McCutcheon a chance to withdraw her guilty plea if she objected to that requirement, but McCutcheon said she wished to go through with the sentencing as planned.
WPSD Local 6 contributed to this report.