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Mom Kills 2 Children Performing Exorcism, Police Say

11:42 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md.(WUSA9) -- It was the first day in court Tuesday for the two Germantown women accused of murdering two young children and attempting to kill two more.

It has become a bizarre case involving exorcism.

Twenty-eight-year-old Zakieka Avery, the mother of the four children and her friend 21-year-old Monifa Sanford appeared separately on closed circuit TV in court to hear the charges against them. Judge Gary Everingham ordered both held in jail until their next court appearance. But the bizarre series of events that prosecutors believe lead up to the murders has also resulted in a court ordered psychiatric evaluation of Avery's competency to stand trial.

Sanford's case has been delayed while she changes lawyers, but Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy says there is likely to be a psychiatric evaluation in her case too. In court he said they are necessary since Avery had been committed to a psychiatric facility once before and Sanford claims to have made two suicide attempts.

In court McCarthy laid out a series of bizarre events telling the judge that the two women murdered a one-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, both Avery's children because they believed were possessed by demons and then tried to do the same to two older children.

Both women belonged to a church center dance group called the Demon Assassins, but Montgomery County Police Captain Marcus Jones says they do not believe two other members of that group were involved in the murders.

The defense team for both women did not object to the competency reviews adding all they want is justice in the case. Sanford, who will get a new lawyer hired by her family is due back in court on January 24.

If eventually convicted, both women could face life in prison.

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