Trial begins for Irving mom who confessed to murdering her two daughters

The trial is underway for the Irving mother charged with killing her two children.

On April 5, 2021, Madison McDonald walked into the Irving Police Department, used a telephone to call 911, and told police she smothered her 1 and 6-year-old daughters.

When investigators entered her Valley Ranch apartment, they discovered her children in their beds, unresponsive.


Police: Irving mom confessed to murdering 1 and 6-year-old daughters

Irving police said 30-year-old Madison McDonald showed up at the police department and used the phone in the lobby to report that she'd killed her two young daughters.

According to the arrest affidavit, McDonald said her children were allegedly abused and she would do anything to protect them, including "eliminating them."

Security video from inside the police station showed McDonald wandering around the lobby carrying documents and two baby blankets.

McDonald is charged with two counts of capital murder.

During opening statements, her attorney said she suffered from several mental health disorders and was not aware that what she was doing was wrong at the time.

He is asking the jury to find her not guilty by reason of insanity.

There was evidence of McDonald confessing to sedating and smothered her children to death, her reason was claims they were being abused.

Her legal team said she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and claims she was mentally ill at the time of the murders. 

Jurors were shown the tragic moments her daughters’ bodies were found by Irving police.

They also heard the 911 call McDonald made from inside the police department, where she claimed she killed the girls to protect them from "being abused." 

"I’m at the south station and it’s for multiple things. Um. Child pornography and murder," McDonald said.

[911 OPERATOR: "Who was murdered?"]

"My children," McDonald responded.

[911 OPERATOR: "Murdered when?"]

"Today," McDonald said.

[911 OPERATOR: "Murdered where? In what city?"]

"Irving," McDonald said.

[911 OPERATOR: "Who murdered them, and how many children do you have?"]

"I have two, I have two," she responded.

[911 OPERATOR: "You have two kids?"]

"Yes," McDonald said.

[911 OPERATOR: "Who murdered them?"]

"I sedated them and smothered them to protect them from our family that is putting them in child porn," McDonald responded.

[911 OPERATOR: "You sedated them and smothered them?"]

"Yes," she answered. 

Those claims were unfounded.

[ATTORNEY: "You now know that it had been reported by her to the police and Irving police determined that never happened."]

"Yes sir," Irving PD Sgt. Jason Healer responded.

But when she met with officers after calling 911, she continued to make the claims.

She brought documents and baby blankets with her to the police department, and it was evidence of abuse involving her family and her children.

"This is unfortunate. I know no one will understand, but as a mother, you do anything in this world to keep them safe, and if that means I have to eliminate them and pay the price for the rest of my life, I will. They are hurting them," McDonald said at the police station.

McDonald’s lawyer, Daniel Lewis, told the jury she was suffering from a mental episode at the time of the murders.

He claims she did not know what she was doing. 

He said she had previously been on medication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 

"Until February 2021, everyone thought she was doing okay in that outpatient after care," Lewis said. "She was not doing okay. She was not cured. She was not fixed. It doesn’t work that way."

Multiple times during the testimony, McDonald was seen crying in the courtroom, specifically when prosecutors showed the body camera video and pictures of her little girls’ bodies. 

On the day of the murders, McDonald admitted she suffocated her children.

On Wednesday, testimony suggested they were given a cocktail of sedatives as well.

"She has all of these drugs present, which were adding to her respiratory depression," Dallas County Medical Examiner Dr. Emily Ogden said. "So you can’t discount the effect that that had on her death."