NEW CASSEL, N.Y. (WPIX) -- The suicidal mother accused of the drowning deaths of her three children, has entered an insanity plea, that will land her in a psychiatric hospital instead of prison -- possibly for the rest of her life.
Leatrice Brewer, 28, of New Cassel pleaded "not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, Monday in Nassau County court.

She's charged with the February 24, 1998, bathtub drownings of her children, Jewell Ward, 6, and half-brothers 5-year-old Michael Demesyeux and18-month-old Innocent Demesyeux.

As Brewer was being arrested, she reportedly told police: "I jumped out the window and I killed my kids." Investigators say the disturbed mother slit Jewell's throat before drowning her; Michael and Innocent were spared that, and were only drowned.

"Everything that needs to happen is happening now, "Brewer's brother Robert McCord told PIX News outside of court. '"She is already suffering, we are suffering."

"My granddaughter loved her children," said Brewer's grandmother Mabelle Mickens. "She loved her children, and I was the one who helped raise those children."

Brewer's family is satisfied with the plea deal, but the father of 5-year-old Michael and 18-month-old Innocent Demesyeux is disappointed.

"My children deserve a proper trial in court, it's as simple as that," said Innocent Demesyeux Senior who faulted Nassau County Child Protective Services for what he says was failing his children. He plans on suing the county but couldn't answer why he didn't do more to protect his children. He went on to say that he doesn't believe Brewer was mentally ill.

Two independent board certified psychiatrists however concluded Brewer suffered from major depressive disorder with psychotic features, hallucinations and paranoia.

"And that her mental disorder or defect caused her to lack proper appreciation or understanding that her conduct was wrong," said Assistant District Attorney Mitchell Benson.

The evaluations also went on to say that Brewer understood what she was doing when she killed her children, and that she believed she was trying to save them and herself from mortal voodoo.

Brewer also tried to commit suicide twice afterwards by drinking poison, and later jumping out a second floor window.