‘That's Not Her,' Friend of Irving Mother Accused of Killing Daughters Speaks Out

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A close friend of an Irving mother, who police say confessed to killing her two young daughters, says there’s more to the story.

Madison McDonald is charged with two counts of capital murder of a person under the age of 10.

She remains in jail. Bond has not yet been set.

Most find it hard to believe a mother could do something so awful.

It’s especially difficult when the person accused of capital murder is a close friend.

“I don’t want to believe it,” said Stephanie Washington. “I don’t see her doing that. That’s not her.”

Washington said she chose her childhood friend McDonald to be ‘godmother’ to two of her children, years before McDonald had her own kids: 6-year-old Archer Hammond and 1-year-old Lillian Mae McDonald.

“They were her world,” said Washington who spoke with NBC 5 with permission from McDonald’s family.

But Monday night, Irving police said McDonald walked into the police station, picked up a phone for dispatch and confessed to killing her daughters.

Police released surveillance video of McDonald walking in and being approached by police.

McDonald said she smothered the girls after sedating them, according to police.

McDonald, police say, claimed the girls were being abused and that she would do anything to protect them, including ‘eliminating them,’ according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by NBC 5.

“There’s more to the story,” said Washington. “She was going through things that people don’t know about.”

Washington said her friend had struggled with several things recently, including a divorce that was finalized this month, according to online records.

She also struggled with mental health, according to Washington who said McDonald was on medication and in therapy.

“She had a mental health Facebook group that she added a lot of us in from high school and she was the one who always said: If y’all need anything, reach out. Don’t do anything, just reach out to me. I’m here for everybody.”

Those same people are now left mourning two young lives and wondering: why?

“They were just happy, bright little girls,” she said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with the kids. But it breaks my heart because they’re innocent. They’re babies. And it hurts me for Madison because I know that’s not her. I don’t understand what went so wrong in a couple of weeks.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, McDonald was still in the Irving city jail.

Bond has not been set.

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