ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP)–A Maryland woman has pleaded guilty to killing two of her children and badly injuring two of their siblings during what she believed was an exorcism in 2014.
Zakieya Avery pleaded guilty Monday in a Montgomery County courtroom. Avery and her roommate stabbed the four children because they believed killing them was the only way to rid them of demons. Prosecutors said Avery’s youngest child, 18-month-old Norell, was stabbed more than 20 times. Her 2-year-old, Zyana, was choked and stabbed in the chest and back. Two older children, ages 5 and 8, survived the attacks.
Avery’s lawyers are expected to make the case she was not criminally responsible for her actions. If a judge agrees she could be sent to a psychiatric hospital.
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