Christina Booth’s story — Her life and crimes detailed

Christina and Thomas Booth

Following a relaxing night with her husband, involving a movie and wine, an intoxicated Christina E. Booth got up to put her children – a 2-year-old daughter and 6-month-old twins – to bed. Booth said ‘she hit her breaking point’ after the children started crying. 

Rather than soothe her children to sleep, Booth rushed downstairs to get a knife from the dishwasher. Christina slashed her children’s throats, inflicting life-threatening injuries. Her husband, Thomas Booth, found the injured twins after seeing Christina crying and screaming. 

He performed first aid on the twins – which probably saved their life – as he urged Christina to call 911. She told the operator: “My babies won’t calm down. I’ve breastfed them, I’ve formula-fed them, they are not calming down.”

Booth allegedly wanted the house quiet for her husband

Christina Booth and her husband

Medics arrived at the Booths’ residence to find Christina upstairs with the crying children. They rushed the children to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where specialists performed life-saving surgery. The police interviewed the parents and arrested Christina on three counts of attempted murder. 

“To do that kind of damage or injury to three helpless human beings,” Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa told KIRO7. “I don’t know that you can explain it.” 

The family’s neighbors described Christina as an attentive mother who became reclusive after Thomas returned from his second deployment from Afghanistan. The twins were born around that time. 

Thomas told authorities that Christina had difficulty raising the children and had a prescription for postpartum depression. Christina echoed Thomas’ account and blamed him for refusing to help out with the children. 

“Thomas gets very annoyed when the children cry and make noise,” Christina said. Booth said she cut her children’s throats because she wanted the house quiet for her husband. “I can’t imagine having three [children] under 2,” neighbor Tiffany Felch said. “I’m sure she was going through a lot.”

Lt. Jim Costa told People that the parents had a turbulent relationship: “This was not a blissful household, we learned. There are dynamics between the husband and wife that caused some friction.”

However, neither spouse had a criminal record, and police had never received complaints about the household. Neighbors said they never imagined such a tragedy would occur. 

“I have to assume that she felt trapped in some way in her situation,” Eric Felch, a neighbor, said. “Whether psychological or relational or whatever.”

The sentencing trial revealed Booth had a traumatic past involving sexual assault

“Christina said she knew if she killed all of the kids, the house would be quiet for Thomas,” the probable cause document read. “During the interview, Christina broke down crying several times. Christina made the comment ‘they will be quiet now’ several times.”

Booth’s children recovered without acquiring life-altering injuries, but the future looked bleak for their mother. As much as prosecutors empathized with her situation, they felt hard-pressed to enforce the law. 

Prosecutors charged her with three counts of first-degree attempted murder while armed with a deadly weapon, which carried a near-life sentence if the jury found her guilty. “Just because she wasn’t successful doesn’t negate what it was,” Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris said. “It was vicious. They’re lucky to be alive.”

However, thanks to the efforts of Public Defender Patrick O’Connor, prosecutors offered Booth a plea deal. Christina pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon and one count of first-degree assault of a child while armed with a deadly weapon. 

O’Connor contended there were enough mitigating factors to justify the lesser charges. Christina’s adoptive mother, Karla Petersen, testified that by the time the four-year-old Booth arrived at her home, she’d suffered several traumatic events. 

Petersen said that Christina witnessed the rape and murder of her mother when she was only two years old. She then experienced a nightmarish stint in foster homes as her guardians neglected and sexually abused her. 

Karla added that doctors diagnosed Christina with PTSD early on and postpartum depression when she became a teen mother. Petersen said Karla’s PTSD returned when Booth deployed to Afghanistan and her twins were born prematurely. Karla stated she worried Christina would hurt herself, not her children.

“I think she acted out of desperation that night,” Petersen said. “She became that scared little girl again.” O’Connor also cited the challenges of parenting three young children alone as a potential mitigating factor. 

County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson sentenced Christina to 14 ½ years in prison. She also stated that Christina would serve three months of community custody after her release and ordered the convict to complete a mental health evaluation. 

Judge Wilson denied the defense’s request to allow Booth’s children to visit her in prison

Christina Booth
CNN Live/YouTube

“I hate myself very much,” Christina said. “I’m disgusted with myself, I’m not going to forgive myself.”

Thomas, who acquired full custody of the children, described Christina as loving, sweet, and kind. He characterized the assaults as entirely out of character. Thomas added that the children were doing well, and he planned to stand by his wife. 

Petersen and Thomas pleaded with the court to allow the children to visit her in prison. The prosecution disagreed, stating there was no way to determine whether the girls had lasting psychological effects due to the assault. 

Judge Wilson denied the request and ordered that Booth desist from contacting her daughters after her release. However, the judge said that the order could be reviewed later on. 

Petersen said she hoped Booth and her daughters would reunite one day. “Christina’s definitely not evil,” Karla said. “She really does care about the girls, she always asks how they’re doing.”