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2021 trial set for Utah mom accused of killing two kids

Sun Cha Warhola appears in the Davis County Court on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.
Sun Cha Warhola appears in Davis County Court on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.
Nicholas Draney

LAYTON — A trial was scheduled Monday for the Utah mother accused of strangling her two children in their Davis County home nearly a decade ago.

The four-day trial for Sun Cha Warhola is set to begin on Jan. 25, 2021, in 2nd District Court in Layton.

Warhola has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, in the deaths of her son James, 8, and daughter Jean Marie, 7.

Authorities say she strangled the children in James’ bedroom in their Layton home on Sept. 8, 2010.

The court case was on hold for roughly eight years while Warhola was in the psychiatric Utah State Hospital, up until a judge deemed her competent to stand trial last May. Her attorneys have previously argued she has a severe mental illness.

The children’s father, Ken Warhola, has called for a prison sentence of at least 25 years for his former wife and told the Deseret News last month that he fears people will forget about his children. He said he believes Sun Cha Warhola had planned out the children’s deaths.

Ken Warhola has noted James, who loved Legos and cartoons, would be preparing to go to college in the fall. His sister Jean Marie, remembered as a stellar student and her brother’s protector, would be a junior in high school.

Their mother is due back in court April 13.

Contributing: Felicia Martinez