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The Latest: Mother refused to aid daughter during attack

March 20, 2019
FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of 14-year-old Grace Packer. Sullivan pleaded guilty to all charges in the 2016 death of Grace Packer. The penalty phase of his trial opens Friday, March 15, 2019 outside Philadelphia. A jury will hear testimony about Sullivan’s crimes before deciding on a sentence of either life in prison or death. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of 14-year-old Grace Packer. Sullivan pleaded guilty to all charges in the 2016 death of Grace Packer. The penalty phase of his trial opens Friday, March 15, 2019 outside Philadelphia. A jury will hear testimony about Sullivan’s crimes before deciding on a sentence of either life in prison or death. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the fate of a Pennsylvania man who authorities say raped, murdered and dismembered his girlfriend’s daughter (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

The mother of a slain and dismembered 14-year-old Pennsylvania girl testified in a packed courtroom that she told her daughter she had no interest in helping her as she was being attacked.

When her daughter Grace looked at her for help as Jacob Sullivan punched her in the face, Sara Packer said she told her, “I can’t help you anymore. This is your life now.”

Sara Packer testified Wednesday at the sentencing hearing for Sullivan, her boyfriend, who pleaded guilty in the 2016 rape, murder and dismemberment of Grace Packer.

A jury outside Philadelphia must decide whether he gets the death sentence or life without parole.

Sara Packer agreed to plead guilty in connection with her adoptive daughter’s murder in exchange for a life sentence.

In a monotone, she testified that Grace had become what she called a “non-entity” and that she took part in the plot to kill her.

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2:30 p.m.

The mother of a slain 14-year-old girl says her daughter had a tendency to be a “very difficult child.”

Sara Packer wore a red prison jumpsuit Wednesday as she took the stand in a sentencing hearing for her boyfriend who pleaded guilty in the 2016 rape, murder and dismemberment of Grace Packer. A jury outside Philadelphia must decide on a sentence of death or life without parole.

Sara Packer agreed to plead guilty in her adoptive daughter’s murder in exchange for a life sentence.

She said Wednesday she has a psychology degree and an IQ over 140. She lost her job as an adoptions supervisor in 2010.

Prosecutors say she hated Grace and shared a rape-murder fantasy with Jacob Sullivan.

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12:40 p.m.

The younger brother of a slain 14-year-old girl says the only way he can bear his loss is if adults know her story and then act to prevent child abuse.

A detective read Josh Packer’s statement in court Wednesday as a jury considers the sentence for his sister’s killer.

Forty-six-year-old Jacob Sullivan pleaded guilty in the 2016 rape, murder and dismemberment of Grace Packer. A jury outside Philadelphia must decide on a sentence of death or life without parole.

Grace’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, has agreed to plead guilty in her murder in exchange for a life sentence.

Josh Packer says if his sister was told she could save other kids’ lives by giving her own, she would ask, “What do I have to do?”

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This story has been corrected to show the detective read the statement in court Wednesday, not Thursday.

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11:40 a.m.

Family members of a slain 14-year-old girl are testifying how her death has impacted them as jurors consider a sentence for her killer.

Forty-six-year-old Jacob Sullivan pleaded guilty in the 2016 rape, murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend’s daughter, Grace Packer. A jury outside Philadelphia must decide on a sentence of death or life without parole.

Grace’s cousin, Karie Heisserer, told jurors Wednesday that it sickened her “to know that Grace was abused, tortured and literally thrown away like she was a piece of trash.”

Grace’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, has agreed to plead guilty in her murder in exchange for a life sentence. Prosecutors say Sara Packer hated Grace and shared a rape-murder fantasy with Sullivan. She is expected to testify for the defense in the penalty phase of Sullivan’s trial.

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