UPDATE: Mother Known As “Exorcism Killer” Pleads Guilty To Killing 2 Children, Injuring 2 Others

UPDATE (September 13, 2016):

Zakieya Avery has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and an additional two counts of attempted first-degree murder on Monday, according to WTLA. A judge called the 31-year-old’s actions “gruesome and chilling” after prosecutors read the facts of the case.

In January 2014, Avery, then 29, was arrested alongside her close friend Monifa Sanford in Germantown, Maryland. The women, who claimed to be “demon assassins,” brutally attacked Avery’s four children. They killed one-year-old Norell Harris and Zyana Harris, 2. Taniya Harris, 5, and Martello Harris, 8, were badly injured but survived.

Photos of the crime scene posted by Daily Mail Online show the horrified reaction of neighbors to the news that a fellow resident had called 911 the night before to report two toddlers being left alone for 45 minutes in Avery’s car — shortly before their murder.

Avery faces up to four life sentences, but it is not yet known whether she will be committed to a psychiatric institution or incarcerated in a regular jail. Closing arguments in the case continued on Tuesday.

Main image: Zakieya Avery [Photo: Montgomery County Police]


Montgomery County Police are shedding new light on a horrific Maryland double murder case involving children. The crime is disturbing and simply unbelievable.  In addition to new information and photos, authorities also released 911 calls from the incident last week.

Monifa Denise Sanford Courtesy: Montgomery Police Department

Monifa Denise Sanford Courtesy: Montgomery Police Department

No one can understand how a mother could allegedly murder her own toddler children with the help of a roommate.  Police said, the defendants in this case believed they were performing an “exorcism.”

Around 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, investigators responded to a neighborhood in Germantown, Md. where they found four children injured. Investigators confirmed two of the children were pronounced dead on the scene and the other two were transported to a local hospital.  Their mother, 28-year-old Zakieya Latrice Avery, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and attempted  murder.

Police have identified the victims as 1-year-old, Norell Harris and his sister 2-year-old Zyana Harris as the deceased, autopsies revealed the toddlers were stabbed multiple times. In a press release, police said 5-year-old Taniya Harris and 8-year-old Martello Harris were injured but are expected to live. Their injuries have not been disclosed.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims along with the 911 operators, police officers, evidence technicians, and fire and EMS personnel that responded.”

The second woman charged, 21-year-old Monifa Denise Sanford, is also facing first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder charges as well.

Below are the actual call recordings from 911. Portions of these recording were redacted for investigative reasons.


If you know anything please contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.

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Connect with Michelle: @MichelleSigona

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