A Maryland woman involved with a group described as a religious cult pleaded guilty in the starvation death of her son, but insisted that the charges be dropped when he is resurrected.
The condition was made a part of Ria Ramkissoon’s plea agreement, officials said. She entered the plea Monday in Baltimore, Maryland, to a first-degree felony count of child abuse resulting in death, her attorney, Steven Silverman, said Tuesday.
Ramkissoon, a member of a group called One Mind Ministries, believes Javon Thompson, her year-old son, will rise again, and as part of her plea agreement, authorities agreed to the clause.
“She certainly recognizes that her omissions caused the death of her son,” Silverman said. “To this day, she believes it was God’s will and he will be resurrected and this will all take care of itself. She realizes if she’s wrong, then everyone has to take responsibility … and if she’s wrong, then she’s a failure as a mother and the worst thing imaginable has happened. I don’t think that, mentally, she’s ready to accept that.”
Under the plea agreement, Ramkissoon, 22, must testify against four other One Mind Ministries members who are also facing charges, including first-degree murder, in Javon’s death. At her sentencing, set for August, she will receive a 20-year sentence, which will be suspended except for the time she has already served behind bars, Silverman said. She must also undergo deprogramming and psychiatric counseling.
In court Monday, it was clarified that the “resurrection clause” would apply only in the case of Javon’s actual resurrection — not a perceived reincarnation, Silverman said.
“This has never come up in the history of American law, as far as I’ve seen,” Silverman said, adding that the clause was “very important to her.”
“On one level, she certainly is competent to stand trial, because she does recognize that as far as her legal entanglements are concerned, this is a grand-slam resolution for her,” Silverman said. “On the other hand, she’s still brainwashed, she’s still delusional as far as the teachings and influence of this cult, and she certainly is going to benefit with professional help and deprogramming.”
Ramkissoon and the others are accused of denying Javon food after the group’s leader, a 40-year-old woman who goes by the name Queen Antoinette, decreed the boy was a demon since he refused to say “amen” after meals, Silverman said.
“Ria would cling to him every day and try to get him to say ‘amen,’ ” Silverman said. Eventually, Queen Antoinette ordered that Ramkissoon be separated from the child, he said.
Javon is believed to have died in December 2006, court documents allege. Following his death, the group members put the boy’s body in a back room, and “everyone was directed to come in and pray,” according to the documents. “The Queen told everyone that ‘God was going to raise Javon from the dead.’ Javon remained in the room for an extended period of time (in excess of one week). The resurrection never took place.”
Authorities believe the boy’s body was then placed into a wheeled suitcase along with mothballs and fabric-softener sheets, documents said. Prosecutors allege Antoinette opened the suitcase periodically and sprayed its interior with Lysol to mask the decomposition odor.
The group then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and befriended a man who agreed to take care of their luggage before they left, documents said. The body was found in April 2008, still inside the suitcase, in the man’s storage shed.
All five One Mind Ministries members were set to stand trial Monday. The case against the others has been postponed, Silverman said, as Antoinette and another woman lack attorneys and must either obtain one or waive their right to counsel. Silverman added that Antoinette has suggested, though not said outright, that God is representing her.
Court documents say Ramkissoon joined One Mind Ministries after Javon’s birth in 2005. Silverman described her as a petite, soft-spoken woman who rejected her family’s Hindu religion, became a devout Christian and wanted to raise her son in that religion. “She didn’t want to have to work or go to school. She just wanted to take care of her son, and they offered her all this,” he said.
The group insisted she wear a uniform the colors of royalty: white, tan and blue; give up her cell phone; stop referring to her family members by name; and not leave her home on her own, among other things, he said. “They really isolated her, brainwashed her, and you see what happened.”
Ramkissoon’s mother, Seeta Khadan Newton, notified various agencies that her grandson was missing after she traveled to New York City in February 2008 to find her daughter, court documents said. Newton told authorities that when she spoke to Ramkissoon and asked about Javon, her daughter replied, “He’s gone. He’s lost,” but gave no further information.
Silverman said he realized right away after consulting with Ramkissoon that he needed to communicate her story to the public and to prosecutors.
“Once you get to understanding the story, understanding what Ria went through, and her intentions … it becomes quite clear that Ria, although many may not think her hands are clean, a reasonable, rational person would have some sympathy.”
See, religion DOES improve our lives. That is, by “improve”, you mean “doesn’t improve”.
A Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his co-pilot.
The 2005 crash at sea off Sicily left survivors swimming for their lives, some clinging to a piece of the fuselage that remained floating after the ATR turbo-prop aircraft splintered upon impact.
A fuel-gauge malfunction was partly to blame but prosecutors said the pilot had succumbed to panic, praying out loud instead of following emergency procedures and then opting to crash-land the plane instead trying to reach a nearby airport.
Another five employees of Tuninter, a subsidiary of Tunisair, were sentenced to between eight and nine years in jail by the court, in a verdict handed down on Monday.
The seven accused, who were not in court, will not spend time in jail until the appeals process has been exhausted.
Why is this man said to have “significant mental health issues” because he said that god asked him to kill evil people? If he claimed that god asked him to attend church and sing songs and praise and all that, would he be more sane?
SEATTLE – Authorities said the man accused of a shooting rampage that left six people dead in northwest Washington stole the guns used in the attacks as well as a pickup truck involved in a high-speed chase.
According to court documents unsealed Wednesday in Skagit County District Court, Isaac Zamora stole a rifle, a handgun and ammunition from a residence near his mother’s home in the small town of Alger, about 70 miles north of Seattle.
The Sept. 2 shootings that claimed the life of a Skagit County sheriff‘s deputy, two Alger area residents and two construction workers, continued as the shooter fled south on Interstate 5, firing at two cars and a Washington State Patrol trooper on the freeway, fatally injuring one driver.
After a high-speed police pursuit, Zamora, 28, surrendered at a sheriff’s office in Mount Vernon, about 20 miles south of Alger.
Zamora has been charged with six counts of murder and four counts of assault. He is being held on $5 million bail with his next court appearance set for Oct. 3.
According to court documents, in a police interview after his arrest Zamora refused to discuss his specific actions but said God told him what to do and told him to “kill evil.”
“God, why did I do it?” he blurted at one point in the interview.
Zamora’s only comment in court when he was charged last Friday was to twice declare: “I kill for God. I listen to God.”
Keith Tyne, a public defender appointed to represent Zamora, has said little about the case. After Zamora was charged, Tyne said, “Clearly there are significant mental health issues at play.”
According to the documents, the events on Sept. 2 began with a 911 call from Dennise Zamora, the mother of Isaac Zamora, who called police because she was afraid her son was breaking into neighbor’s houses, and might get shot doing so. Dennise Zamora has said her son has struggled for years with serious mental illness.
Nothing like teaching your kids good Christian values. Anyone else interested in knowing why they say it’s a “cult” when it’s clearly a form of Christianity? I love how they get shunned as not being Christians simply because then Christianity might be given a bad name.
Â Baltimore police have obtained warrants charging four more members of what authorities call a religious cult in the death of 2-year-old Javon Thompson, whose body was found in May in a suitcase in Philadelphia. The warrants bring the number of people charged in the boy’s death to five.
Charged with murder in warrants were Queen Antoinette, 40, Trevia Williams, 20, Marcus Cobbs, 21, and Steven Bynum, 42. All but Bynum are in jail on other charges, and the Warrant Apprehension Task Force is looking for Bynum in the New York area, said Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the city’s Police Department.
With the most recent charges, police have charged all but two known adults associated with the tiny religious group, 1 Mind Ministries, in the boy’s death. The gruesome details of that crime were outlined in a 12-page statement of charges written over the weekend by homicide Detective Vernon Parker.
Police say the five suspects belonged to a small group of adults and children who operated for a time in East and West Baltimore. Police allege that the victim’s mother, Ria Ramkissoon, 21, the first to be charged with murder, and others neglected Javon and allowed the boy to starve to death because they thought he was a demon for not saying amen after he was fed, according to police charging documents.
Javon is believed to have died in December 2006 in a West Baltimore house, according to police charging documents. The cause of death was ruled homicide by unspecified means, according to court papers.
In early February 2007, police say, the group fled to Philadelphia, taking the boy’s body in a green suitcase with wheels. They stayed at various places, settling for about a week at the home of a man the group befriended, according to police. Police found Javon’s body in a shed behind the house in May this year. He was wearing a diaper.
DNA evidence provided preliminary confirmation that the remains are those of Javon, according to a police source close to the investigation. Authorities are awaiting complete results.
In early May, three members of the group – including its alleged leader, Toni Ellsberry, also known as Queen Antoinette – were arrested in Brooklyn, N.Y., on outstanding warrants connected to an unrelated Baltimore case in which they are accused of assaulting a city officer who had gone to their home to retrieve a child involved in a custody dispute. The suspects were returned to Baltimore and held on charges that they had failed to show up for a court date.
Wait, did I say Atheist, I meant evangelical preacher.
An evangelical preacher killed his wife several years ago and stuffed her body in a freezer after she caught him abusing their daughter, according to police and court documents.
Anthony Hopkins, 37, was arrested Monday night at the Inspirational Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Jackson, Alabama, just after he had delivered a sermon to a congregation that included his seven other children, officials said.
He faces charges including murder, rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and incest.
Hopkins was denied bail Thursday when he appeared before Mobile County District Judge George Hardesty. The case is set for arraignment next week, Hardesty’s clerk said.
The case began Monday, when the daughter, now 19, went to the Mobile Police Department’s Child Advocacy Center and reported that she had been sexually abused by Hopkins since she was 11 years old, according to an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant of the preacher’s home in Mobile.
The affidavit related the daughter’s story as follows:
Her mother, Arletha Hopkins, 36, caught her father abusing her in a bathroom in November 2004. Afterward, her parents argued, and her mother locked her father out of the house. The father came to the daughter’s window and asked her to let him in, and she did so.
The next morning, her father asked her to help him hide her mother’s body in the freezer in the laundry room of the home.
The girl said she moved out of the home about two weeks ago and was living with a neighbor. She told police that her mother’s body was still in the freezer.
When authorities went to the home, no one was there, as Hopkins and the other children were at the church. A body was found in the freezer, the affidavit says.
The point of article? Anyone that claims religious folk are on a higher moral ground than non-believers, are full of shit.
Who doesn’t love making fun of a religion as crazy as Islam?
Yeah, Me too I feel like killing someone over an editorial cartoon; doesn’t that use of shading just infuriate you? Note to Islamic murdering douchebags: if Allah is that powerful, he can kill whomever he wants and he sure doesn’t need you to help him.
Danish police have arrested three people suspected of planning to attack a cartoonist who drew caricatures satirising the Prophet Muhammad.
Denmark’s intelligence agency said the arrests were made in the western Aarhus region at 0330 GMT “to prevent a murder linked to terrorism”.
Two of the suspects are Tunisian and the third is a Dane of Moroccan origin.
The pictures in Denmark’s biggest daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 sparked deadly worldwide protests.
The Danish citizen will be released pending further investigation, while the Tunisians will be held until they are expelled from the country, said the Danish intelligence agency PET.
Earlier reports said five people had been arrested.
The intelligence agency said the detentions were made “after lengthy surveillance”.
It did not identify the target of the alleged plot, but the online edition of Jyllands-Posten said its cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, was the focus.
The newspaper, based in Aarhus, said Mr Westergaard, 73, and his 66-year-old wife, Gitte, had been under police protection for the past three months.
In a statement on Jyllands-Posten’s website, Mr Westergaard said: “Of course I fear for my life when the police intelligence service say that some people have concrete plans to kill me.
“But I have turned fear into anger and resentment.”
Just kidding, he claims god told him to do that. In case you want to say “he was crazy, this has nothing to do with religion”, ask yourself what it does to people when you teach them that they can speak to an invisible all powerful being that created the universe through telepathic channels.. and what happens when that being starts talking back to you..
TYLER, Texas (AP) — Friends and family of a 21-year-old who police say was killed and mutilated by her boyfriend struggle to put aside the grisly details of her death.
“You can’t sleep. You can’t think straight anymore,” said Amy Gage, a friend and neighbor of the victim, Jana Shearer. “Then you just keep finding out more and more. It’s the most difficult thing anyone can go through.”
Shearer’s boyfriend, Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, was charged with capital murder after police said they found her body, an ear boiling in a pot on a stovetop, and a hunk of flesh with a fork in it on a plate at the crime scene.
McCuin, wearing a jail-issue red jumpsuit, was not asked to enter a plea as he appeared before state District Judge Jack Skeen Jr. on Monday. Skeen continued McCuin’s bond at $2 million and appointed an attorney to represent him.
Authorities said McGuin’s comments in a 911 call that alerted them to the hideous discovery led them to believe he may have intended to eat his girlfriend’s remains, but said it is unclear whether McCuin consumed any part of her body.
Smith County Sheriff Lt. Larry Wiginton told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that McCuin told investigators that God made him kill Shearer.
“When he said God told him to do it, one of the investigators looked at him and just said, ‘What did you say?”‘ according to Wiginton.
What’s most amazing about this whole thing, think about how many people will say “riiight, god told you to kill her”, even religious people will do it.. yet those same people will believe others who say they’ve spoken to god, or have seen the pearly white gates, or been touched by an angel.
Funny how it’s never god when things go bad, but it’s always god when things go right..Â makes you think.
Isn’t it great how a priest can feel somehow right by hearing a confession that a man killed his ex-wife, and instead of reporting it to the police as he should, he tells no one. FYI, priests are not doctors or lawyers and do not have some special rite where they cannot tell others what they hear, that’s strictly left to their own discretion and should be held accountable when they don’t report murders; a doctor would report a murder or even abuse, even if it breaches patient confidentiality.
BOLINGBROOK, Illinois (AP) — A former police officer’s missing wife once confided in a pastor that her husband admitted killing his third wife, the pastor said.
Former Westbrook Christian Church pastor Neil Schori told Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren in an interview broadcast Monday that Stacy Peterson told him in August that her husband, Drew Peterson, admitted killing his previous wife, Kathleen Savio.
Schori said he asked Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson’s fourth wife, to clarify what she had said and she responded, “‘He killed Kathleen.”‘ Schori said the conversation occurred when he and Stacy Peterson met at a coffee shop.
Savio’s body was found in her bathtub in 2004 and her death initially was ruled an accidental drowning. After Stacy Peterson disappeared in October, prosecutors opened another investigation into the Savio case, and said it appears her death was a homicide staged to look like an accident. Drew Peterson has not been named a suspect in her death.
But more importantly
Last month, the Westbrook Christian Church’s pastor of spiritual formation told The Associated Press that Stacy Peterson requested an August meeting with a member of their pastoral staff when the church made a routine call to see why she and Drew Peterson had not attended services in recent months.
The church official made a “judgment call” not to alert authorities and did not consult with other church staff, Rob Daniels said.
Question to religious people: would this girl have been strangled had it not been for this puerile religious practice of forcing women to cover themselves completely? Women are not slaves and there’s no fucking reason why they should be forced to do this, especially in a free country like Canada. I hope he gets life in prison.
Peel Regional Police arrested a 57-year-old man yesterday morning after receiving a 911 call from a suburban home in Mississauga from a man saying he had killed his daughter. When police and paramedics arrived at the house they found a 16-year-old lying on the floor without any vital signs, police said.
Constable J.P. Valade, a spokesman for Peel police, would not release the names of either the victim or the man arrested and would not give any details about what transpired inside the large, two-storey home in a well-to-do subdivision.
â€œWe are not getting into the details of her injuries at this time,â€ he said. â€œWe arenâ€™t getting into any details about this case. This investigation is really in its infancy: officers are still canvassing the neighbourhood and talking to family members.â€
However, early police reports indicated the teenager had been choked and that the attacker was her father.
Her condition is so grave that police have not yet charged the man arrested at the scene until they know whether he will be charged with murder or attempted murder. He was scheduled to appear in Brampton court on Tuesday.