Psych screening for Md. women held in kids' deaths

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Associated Press

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 21 at 2:36 PM

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Two Maryland woman who police say killed two children while performing what they thought was an exorcism are remaining held without bond and will have psychiatric evaluations 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 their bodies.

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

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