AVONDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ)
An Avondale mother of quadruplets who was sentenced to 172 years in prison for child abuse was released from prison.
Elizabeth Whittle was accused of violently shaking her babies, causing devastating injuries to them.
Whittle cut a plea deal with prosecutors and ended up serving 17 years behind bars.
In the end she always maintained her innocence saying she did not hurt her babies.
Thursday Whittle was released from prison.
Whittle's four babies were sent to live with foster families and eventually put up for adoption after she was sent to prison.
Two of the kids grew up with a family in Queen Creek.
They are talking about the release of their biological mother and what their lives have been like the last 17 years.
"I think it was a tragedy, but I think a blessing came out of the tragedy," said adoptive mother, Sandy Reed.
That blessing for Sandy Reed was her two adopted sons Matthew and Michael.
"We got the boys when they were three months old, right after the abuse happened. We got them out of the hospital. They were very small, and they were broken and beautiful."
The boys' biological mother 42-year-old Elizabeth Whittle was released Thursday after spending 17 years in prison for child abuse involving her quadruplets.
"I feel like, I don't know. It's almost not real," said Matthew Reed.
Police say Whittle shook the infants causing brain damage, broken bones, and detached retinas.
Matthew and Michael are now 18 years old and thriving, healthy and happy.
"I couldn't wish for a better home honestly. The environment here, the animals. How I grew up, I couldn't think of any other way," said Michael Reed.
Whittle originally had a 172 year prison term, but in 2005 she took a plea agreement that reduced her sentence.
FOX 10 asked Matthew if he forgives her..this is what he had to say.
"I do forgive her. I don't have to see her, I don't have to talk to her, but I forgive her as a person. I forgive her for what she's done, because of she never did what she did I wouldn't be where I am today so even though the bad stuff happened a lot of good has come out of it and so I forgive her for what she did because I wouldn't be where I'm at today with all of these people that I love and that love me."