Woman Chokes, Brutally Stabs Her Children Through Torso in Self-Described Exorcism Murders

Posted: February 2, 2015 in Uncategorized
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GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) — A Montgomery County woman has been found guilty, but not criminally responsible, for her role in the gruesome murders of two toddlers in January 2014 in what she believed was an exorcism. Two other children were choked and stabbed, but survived the violent attack. Monifa Sanford was the roommate and best friend of the children’s mother. We want to warn you that the content of Friday’s testimony is very disturbing and graphic. In fact, the devastated father of the four children erupted in the courtroom and was led out by marshals.

Monifa Sanford’s descent into the depths of mental illness included hallucinations and voices, including one that she believed to be Satan. According to testimony, he told her he was going to “kill the babies. If she wanted them to go to heaven, she had to do it herself.””She believed that she had been initiated into this group of demon assassins,” said defense attorney David Felsen.

On January 17, 2014, the children struggled and screamed, but were choked and repeatedly stabbed with a serrated knife. By the time the bloodshed was over, 18-month-old Norell and his 2-year-old sister Zyana were dead. Their 5-year-old sister and 8 year-old brother were also stabbed and choked, but somehow survived.

Sanford immediately went downstairs to the kitchen, retrieved a small, serrated pairing knife with a red handle, then returned to Norell’s room and gave the knife to Avery. Avery straddled Norell on the bed, as Sanford again spoke in tongues and “laid hands.” First, Avery cut her son’s throat multiple times. Norell Harris suffered at least eight cutting wounds on his neck, and additional cutting wounds directly under his chin. Avery then began to stab Norell. Norell suffered numerous cutting wounds to the right and center portion of his chest that injured the skin and superficial soft tissue. He also suffered one stab wound to the right side of his neck, which injured his jugular vein. As Avery repeatedly stabbed and cut her son, Sanford stroked the child’s face in order to calm him. Despite his young age, Norell struggled and attempted to defend himself by blocking the knife. As a result, he suffered multiple cutting wounds to his palms and fingers. To prevent him from struggling, Sanford positioned herself near the child’s head and pinned down Norell’s arms as Avery continued to stab him. At some point, Sanford and Avery moved Norell to the floor because they believed the knife was not penetrating deeply enough. With Norell on the floor, the attack continued. Most significantly, Norell suffered a five-inch deep stab wound immediately below his left nipple that punctured his lung, diaphragm, liver, and stomach.

During the attack on Norell, Avery’s two year-old daughter Zyana was also in the room. Sanford claims Zyana became possessed by the devil, and began to growl and grunt. They attempted to pray the devil out of Zyana’s body, but it did not work. Sanford then picked up Zyana, put her hands around the girl’s neck, forced Zyana back to the ground, and choked her unconscious. Zyana was then stabbed numerous times in the upper left portion of her chest. She was stabbed with such force that at least thirteen stabbings penetrated Zyana’s torso completely and created exit wounds in her back. It is unclear who stabbed Zyana, as Sanford and Avery each claim the other is responsible.

via Woman pleads guilty in exorcism murders of 2 kids.

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