Utah mother pleads guilty to murdering six of her newborn infants
Crime scene (Shutterstock)

A Utah mother pleaded guilty to charges she murdered six of her newborn babies over the course of a decade and stuffed their bodies in cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.

Megan Huntsman, who police said confessed to the killings while suffering from methamphetamine and alcohol addiction, will be sentenced April 20. She faces a maximum sentence of five years to life in prison on each of the six counts of felony murder.

Huntsman is not eligible for the death penalty because the murders, which took place between 1996 and 2006, predate changes in the law that would have made the offense a capital crime in Utah.

She entered her plea as she stood downcast in a Provo, Utah, courtroom, her wrists shackled to her waist, her head bowed, softly uttering "guilty" to each of the six counts.

The six infants' remains were found in April wrapped in old towels, shirts and plastic bags inside boxes in the garage in Pleasant Grove, a suburb just north of Provo. The body of a seventh infant was discovered disposed of in the same way but authorities have said they believe that child was stillborn.

Police have said Huntsman secretly gave birth to all seven without medical assistance at the house after apparently managing to conceal her pregnancies from the outside world.

(Reporting by Peg McEntee; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bill Trott)