DA: Deceased grandmother responsible for children's deaths

DA: Deceased grandmother responsible for children's deaths

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Prosecutors said Jacqueline Sanders, 54, attacked her three grandchildren with a knife and a large knife sharpener, and then set the West Albany house on fire Wednesday morning.

Two of the children died Wednesday, and one was found alive in the trunk of a car. Jacqueline died Thursday morning.

In a conference on Thursday, the DA identified the children. Jaylan Barr, 7, and Zakyria Sanders, 6, who both died, and Isaiah Gates,10, who survived.

Prosecutors said with Jacqueline's death, there will be no criminal charges or trial.  They said she alone was responsible for the murders and fatal fire.


They said she first attacked Isaiah Tuesday night, yelling she was going to kill them all. She apparently thought she had killed the boy and put his body in the trunk of a car.

Investigators said the grandmother then stabbed Zakyria while she slept in her bed and wrapped her body up in a blanket.

They said Jacqueline intentionally set a fire in the master bedroom in the front of the house at around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

She was apparently trying to escape with Jaylan out the back door when they were overcome by smoke.

Barr died later Wednesday morning at the hospital.

Firefighters said they were at the house more than an hour before Isaiah let first responders know he was in the trunk.

"After he was beaten and slashed he was forced into the trunk. And he in fact remained there even though there were other personnel EMT's and other personnel who were there as first responders, he was still afraid and didn't let anyone know that he was being held in the trunk," said Greg Edwards, Dougherty County DA.

MORE: Neighbors grieve after children killed

Isaiah was stabbed and beaten severely. He remains hospitalized.

Edwards said they believe that the grandmother was mentally disturbed, and said she may have been schizophrenic and may have been off her medication.

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