Women indicted in Maryland exorcism deaths

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Associated Press

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 14 at 8:05 AM

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Two Maryland women have been indicted in the stabbings of four children in what authorities say the women believed was an exorcism.

Twenty-eight-year-old Zakieya Avery and 21-year-old Monifa Sanford were indicted Thursday on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Avery's 18-month-old son and 2-year-old daughter in January at a home in Germantown, Md., outside Washington. They were also indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder in an attack on Avery's 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.

Prosecutors have said the women told investigators they believed evil spirits moved between the bodies of the children and an exorcism was needed to drive the demons out.

Police said that if a neighbor had not called 911, the two older children might have died too.

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