Former cult member who starved baby to be released to counseling program
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday August 12, 2009
Mother of Starved Child Set to Be Released
A woman who pleaded guilty to starving her toddler son to death while part of a religious cult will be released from the Baltimore jail within a matter of weeks or even days, her attorney said Tuesday.
Ria Ramkissoon, 22, will be enrolled in a counseling program on a farm in rural northeast Maryland, according to attorneys on both sides. The program, which has no fences or guards, was chosen for her by a city prosecutor who arranges alternative sentencing options.
Ramkissoon was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, but the sentencing was delayed until November because the other four cult members have yet to go on trial. She agreed to testify against them as part of her plea deal.
The agreement calls for Ramkissoon to receive a 20-year suspended sentence and five years of probation.
The other four cult members — Antoinette, 41; Trevia Williams, 21; Marcus A. Cobbs, 22; and Steven L. Bynum, 43 — are scheduled for trial in October on charges including first-degree murder.
Cult members concluded Javon Thompson was a “demon” after the baby wouldn’t say “amen” at mealtime and starved him to death, witnesses told homicide detectives, according to records obtained by The Examiner.
A witness told homicide detectives Javon was “beaten, physically abused [and] deprived of food and water, which led to the child’s death,” according to Khadan-Newton and records obtained by The Examiner.
Khadan-Newton said investigators told her cult members grew angry after Javon would not say “amen” at mealtime, even though the baby was just learning to say basic words.
• Legal experts: Cult member not criminally insane, despite odd plea: “The mother made an extraordinary deal with prosecutors Monday that her guilty plea to child abuse resulting in death will be withdrawn if her 1-year-old son, Javon Thompson, comes back to life.”
• More articles about 1 Mind Ministries, the now-disbanded cult behind this story.
• Use our Cult Information Search Engine to find information about cult experts, (religious) cults, cult-like organizations, — as well as paranormal-, New Age, and pseudoscientific claims — across 260+ websites, blogs and forums dedicated to cult research, spiritual abuse, ex-cult counseling and support.
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