updated 11/2/2005 1:32:02 PM ET 2005-11-02T18:32:02

A woman accused of helping her husband kill their 8-year-old to rid her of a demon pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday.

Valerie Carey, 29, was sentenced to life in prison for the Jan. 19, 2004, stabbing and strangling of Quimani Carey at a downtown Atlanta motel.

Carey and her husband, Christopher, were found walking down busy Piedmont Avenue naked in freezing temperatures with their two other children, then 6 and 2, on their shoulders.

Police discovered Quimani on the floor of their motel room. Pages ripped from the Bible were thrown on and around her body, and her arms were broken.

Prosecutors said Christopher Carey had stabbed her with a knife until it broke, while she tried to fight back.

Valerie Carey held the girl while her husband broke her arms, and then she strangled Quimani.

Valerie Carey believed that her family would be transported to a planet inhabited by red dragons after Quimani was killed, and spread out her arms waiting to fly off, according to one of her attorneys, Susan Wardell.

Mother had a troubled history
After undergoing treatment while in prison, Valerie Carey, who has a long history of mental illness, said she now understands what happened and mourns Quimani's death, blaming it on her husband.

"He kept us isolated and trapped in a different world," she told the judge. "That was my baby. He took her from me and ruined my life."

The family kept moving into cheap motels and homeless shelters, where the children were deprived of food and bathing, Fulton prosecutor Anna Green said.

She added that Christopher Carey also beat the children, especially Quimani, who asked to go to school.

As part of a plea agreement, Valerie Carey, agreed to testify against her 31-year-old husband.

He remains jailed without bond and faces a possible death penalty unless he agrees to plead guilty.

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