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Woman charged in exorcism deaths to claim insanity

Friday - 4/4/2014, 9:48pm  ET

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) -- The lawyer for a woman charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing of two children during an exorcism says he will mount a defense that she is not criminally responsible.

David Felsen, a lawyer for 21-year-old Monifa Sanford, said in court Friday that he will pursue Maryland's equivalent of an insanity defense. The Washington Post reports ( that Sanford's trial is scheduled for August.

Sanford and 28-year-old Zakieya Avery are charged with murder in the deaths of Avery's two toddlers in January in a home in Germantown. Two of Avery's other children were injured in the attack.

Under Maryland law, a person can be found to be not criminally responsible if they didn't understand what they were doing was wrong.


Information from: The Washington Post,

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