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‘Demon Assassin’ Pleads Guilty, Criminally Insane


One of the women who murdered two children in an “exorcism” in Germantown last January has plead guilty and will likely spend the rest of life in a psychiatric hospital.

The Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office says 22-year-old Monifa Sanford of Germantown pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder under a plea agreement.

Sanford will be committed to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital for the rest of her life.

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

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.

According to Washington Post report, last week, Avery’s attorney Brian Shefferman asked the court to postpone her trial to allow for more time to investigate Avery’s mental state, because she has yet to be found not criminally responsible for the murders by a psychiatrist.

Avery’s new trial date has been set for June 24.