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Accused Exorcism Murderer May Avoid Prison


One of the women accused of murdering two children and attempting to murder to two others last January in Germantown has been found to be legally insane at the time of the incident.

According to a Maryland state psychiatrist report, Monifa Denise Sanford, 22, was legally insane and, therefore, not criminally responsible for the attack which took place on Jan. 17 in the townhouse, on Cherry Bend Drive.

The opinion, which was revealed in court on Friday, increases the chances that Sanford could avoid prison if convicted, and instead be sent to a secure forensic hospital.

Sanford and the other defendant, Zakieya Avery, 29, have called themselves “demon assassins” and claim they were performing exorcisms while allegedly stabbing Avery’s 1-year-old son Norell, 2-year-old daughter Zyana, and attacking 5-year-old daughter Taniya, and 8-year-old son Martello, Taniya and Martello both survived the attack.

Prosecutors may still challenge the opinion on Sanford’s mental state. The report on Avery’s mental state at the time of the incident has not yet been made public. If they are both convicted of murder, they face life in prison.