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Psychiatric tests ordered for women held in exorcism deaths

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Two women who police say killed two children while performing what they thought was an exorcism will remain held without bond and have psychiatric evaluations to determine whether they are competent to stand trial, a judge said Tuesday.

The women, Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, and Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, have told investigators that they believed evil spirits moved successively between the bodies of the children and that an exorcism was needed to drive the demons out, said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. The women also reported seeing the eyes of each of the children blackening, he said.

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Associated Press