Sara Packer testifies in trial of man she conspired with to kill foster daughter

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Sara Packer, the foster mother who’s struck a deal with prosecutors regarding her role in the murder of her adopted daughter, Grace Packer, took the stand in Bucks County on Wednesday. 

Attorneys for Jacob Sullivan, Packer’s boyfriend at the time of Grace’s killing, argue that Packer was the driving force behind the murder. And they say, since she has an agreement for life in prison, Sullivan should be sentenced to life in prison, not the death penalty.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, through an agreement with the defense, read the reasons why they are giving Packer life without parole.

He says while Jacob Sullivan gave a full confession, including how he physically choked Grace Packer to death, Sara Packer did not confess and, in Weintraub’s words, the case against her was weak.

RELATED: Jury hears Jacob Sullivan hospital bed confession tapes

He also says that, while Packer conspired in the crimes, she did not physically rape or assault the girl.

And because she conspired, and she was present for the actual murder, since she didn’t actually kill her, the death penalty would not apply.

Some jurors dabbed at their eyes as a statement written by Grace Packer’s brother Josh was read by the Abington detective who first handled the case after Sara Packer reported her daughter missing.

READ: Life without parole or death? Jury deliberates man who raped, killed girl, 14

He wrote that he wants his sister to be remembered so, in his words, people watch out for kids so a loss like hers never happens again.

If his sister was told that, by giving her life, she could save many others, she would have simply asked what she needed to do, he wrote.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, a jury will now decide between death row and life in prison without parole.

Packer will plead guilty after Sullivan’s fate is decided.

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