Psych screening sought in case of 2 slain Md. kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Associated Press

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Two Maryland women who police say killed two children while performing what they thought was an exorcism will remain held without bond as prosecutors seek a psychiatric evaluation to determine if they’re competent for trial.

Zakieya Latrice Avery and Monifa Denise Sanford appeared via videoconference for their first court appearance Tuesday.

The women are charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of two of Avery’s children, ages 1 and 2. Police say two other children were found injured at Avery’s Germantown home.

Prosecutors say the women have told investigators that they thought they were conducting an exorcism and believed that evil spirits were moving between the children’s bodies.

An attorney for Sanford told reporters after the hearing that he is still gathering information about the case.