Maryland Mother Charged With Murder After Exorcism

Maryland Mother Charged With Murder After Exorcism

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28-year-old mother Zakieya Avery has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after attempting an exorcism on her four children because they were "possessed."

The youngest two were found dead in the home from stabbing while the oldest were injured by a knife attack.

Monifa Standard, 21, lives in the house with the family and has also been charged with murder.

Dr. Bill Stewart is a professor of the University of Maryland and an expert in exorcisms and suspects that "they thought they were doing a righteous act."

"This level of killing a person, especially if it's your own child or children, seems to be beyond the pale of legitimacy," says Stewart.

According to those who knew the family, the killings were a manifestation of the mother's mental illness.

"Mental health is a big issue," says neighbor Robert Wooden. "And I think we really need to step up and supply these people with the help they need."


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