Mum to marry convicted killer who might never be released from prison

Emma Pickett, 33, and 30-year-old Delaware prisoner Justin Erskine.
Emma Pickett, 33, and 30-year-old Delaware prisoner Justin Erskine. Photo credit: Caters

A British woman plans to move her young family to the US so she can marry a convicted murderer who may never taste freedom again.

Emma Pickett, 33, met 30-year-old Delaware prisoner Justin Erskine through, reports The Sun. Erskine is serving a life sentence for murder, after being involved in a fight over drugs that turned deadly when he was only 18.

The second time they met - in prison - he proposed, and she accepted.

"It's a case of when you know, you know. Although we've only known each other a short while, we had an instant, strong connection," she told the paper.

They'd only been writing to each other for five months. Ms Pickett has three children, aged 14, 12 and six. She says they know their future father is in prison, but not why.

"I censored some details because you have to be age appropriate."

The wedding is scheduled for September, and Delaware state rules mean their marriage is unlikely to ever be consummated.

"We try to have that intimacy in other ways. We have letters that detail more intimate sides of the relationship," Ms Pickett told The Sun, adding that her ex - the father of her children - is fine with the arrangement, as is her mother.

Erskine declined plea deals, saying he acted under duress. He didn't carry out any of the killings directly, but handed over a knife used to finish off one of the victims, who'd already been shot - but not fatally.

In a petition set up by Ms Pickett calling for his release, she says "up until seconds before the trigger was pulled, he had no idea that a crime was even going to be committed".

A jury convicted him anyway, and as the state didn't push for the death penalty, the only alternative was life in prison without parole, local media reported at the time.

The two men who delivered the fatal blows were reportedly sentenced to 20 and 25 years after taking pleas.


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