Andrea Goeppner, 45, was arrested and charged with four of the murders after remains of babies wrapped in towels and plastic bags were found last year in a case that appalled Germany.
The woman allegedly confessed to killing up to eight of her babies. Their bodies were discovered at her home in the small Bavarian town of Wallenfels following a tip-off from an unidentified neighbor. According to investigations, prosecutors were unable to pursue murder charges for the other four infants, as one was found to have been stillborn and three were so badly decomposed it was unclear whether they were alive at their time of birth.
Goeppner had confessed during the trial, in a statement that was read out by her lawyer, to killing several of her babies but she added that she could not remember how many. “It could have been two, three or four”, her defence lawyer Till Wagler said.
Her estranged husband, Johann Goeppner, 55, was also charged of complicity for failing to stop the killings, which a couple of the killings took place between 2003 and 2013. The couple had each brought two children into the marriage and conceived three more surviving children.
Defence lawyers had tried calling for the charges to be reduced to involuntary manslaughter but judge Christoph Gillot stood his ground and kept his decision to stop short of handing down a life sentence.