By Matt Petrillo


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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A jury heard from a woman who pleaded guilty in connection with her adoptive daughter’s murder and dismemberment on Wednesday. She testified at the sentencing hearing for her boyfriend, and all but admitted she was the mastermind behind the crime.

Sara Packer took a plea deal with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. She’ll spend the rest of her life in prison, but Wednesday’s testimony centered around her boyfriend.

Jacob Sullivan could get sentenced with the death penalty. Emotions ran high inside the Bucks County Courthouse during the sentencing phase of Sullivan’s trial.

Sullivan admitted to beating up, raping and then choking 14-year-old Grace Packer to death in 2016. It happened while her adoptive mom, Sara, watched.

Mother, Boyfriend Charged In “Rape-Murder Fantasy” Of Montco Teen

Credit: CBS3

Today, Packer said in front of a jury her boyfriend “never forced me to do anything.”

“I wanted [Grace] to go away, not to be a part of my life anymore,” Sara Packer said.

Man Could Get Death In Grace Packer’s Rape, Murder, Dismemberment

That testimony will help the jury decide if Sullivan gets life in prison or if he will be sent to death row.

“What Grace went through is a horrible tragedy,” Steve Mattes, of Bikers Against Child Abuse Of Bucks County, said.

Children advocates say more should have been done to protect Grace.

“It’s hard to digest, it’s hard to hear the stuff going on,” Mattes said. “The stuff we’re hearing in this trial is nothing short of sickening.”

The jury is expected to make a decision on Sullivan’s fate later this week.