Mother in exorcism deaths case found not criminally responsible

- A judge has ruled that a Maryland woman who pleaded guilty to killing two of her children and injuring their two siblings during what she believed was an exorcism in 2014 should not be held criminally responsible for her actions.

Zakieya Avery of Germantown, Maryland, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. The judge overseeing her case ruled Thursday that the 31-year-old would not be held criminally responsible for her actions and should be committed to a mental institution.

Avery's roommate, Monifa Sanford, who participated in the killings, previously took a plea deal in the case that committed her to a psychiatric hospital. Sanford said that the women stabbed the children because they believed they were possessed by demons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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