BEDFORD, VA., OCT. 6 -- Elizabeth Haysom said at her murder sentencing hearing here today that she hopes her West German boyfriend is convicted in the stabbing deaths of her parents.
Haysom, 23, said Jens Soering, 21, killed her parents one weekend in the spring of 1985 after she and Soering rented a motel room in Washington. After the deaths, she said her love for Soering was all she had to live for, so she constructed an alibi and tried to protect him.
Soering, the son of a West German diplomat in Detroit, is fighting extradition in England.
Haysom pleaded guilty to being an accessory before the fact to the killings allegedly carried out in April of 1985 by Soering. Her father was stabbed 37 times, and her mother's head was almost severed. Judge William W. Sweeney could impose a prison sentence on Haysom of from 20 years to life.
Haysom is expected to take questions Wednesday from Commonwealth's Attorney James Updike Jr. as well as defense attorneys.
Haysom said during more than four hours of testimony today that after she and Soering were jailed in England on credit-card abuses, she saw photographs of her parents' butchered bodies and decided to go forward with her story.
"I wanted to make sure I was convicted," Haysom testified. "I thought that if I was found guilty, he would be found guilty, too. I want him to be brought to justice."
She said Soering first spoke of his desire to kill Derek Haysom, 72, and Nancy Haysom, 53, in February 1985. At the time, Haysom and Soering were students at the University of Virginia and were upset with her parents for planning to send her on a spring-break skiing trip to Colorado.
"He strode into the room and blurted the comment, 'I could blow their bloody heads off,' " she testified yesterday. "At that particular instance, I took him seriously. I said that's outrageous . . . . Today, I feel extremely responsible that I didn't follow up on what he said."
The final straw, she said, was when they spent a weekend in Washington, one purpose being for her to sell some jewelry so she could get money to supply her drug habit. Soering became angry and said, 'I could kill them,' " she testified. She said she was so consumed with her own need to get a fix of heroin that her only reply was "Yes, dear."
She said Soering then went to Bedford, and when he returned to Washington and picked her up at a movie theater, she opened the car door and found him wrapped in a sheet and "covered with blood from head to toe." He told her of the killings as they drove back to their hotel, she testified, and she didn't think of going to the authorities because she was so stunned.
She said she grew even closer to Soering -- obsessed -- after the killings. But she said she also was fearful because he threatened her out of fear she would not protect him.
Haysom testified she had told Soering of her frustrations toward her parents, and apparently fueled a violent streak in Soering.
She described her father as a man who pushed her to study the sciences even though she was a poor science student and her mother as a problem drinker to whom she lied in letters about her academic problems.
Haysom, whose father was a South African steel executive, described a childhood troubled by such incidents as a beating at the hands of the children of union officials at age 8 in Canada and a rape at age 10 while she was at a boarding school in Switzerland.