- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Maryland mother has been charged for fatally stabbing two of her children during an attempted exorcism, Montgomery County police said.

Zakieya L. Avery, 28, was charged Saturday with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, CNNreported.

A second woman was also charged in the murder of Norell Harris, 1, and his sister, Zyana Harris, 2.

Avery’s two other children, ages 5 and 8, were hospitalized with injuries, authorities said.

“Investigators have learned that the two defendants believed that they were performing an exorcism. The investigation into this motive and other aspects of the crime continue at this point,” a police statement said.

“Cases like this are heartbreaking,” county Police Chief Tom Manger told CNN. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims.”

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