Three cult members have been sentenced for the death of a toddler starved for not saying “Amen” after meals.
Mike Hellgren reports Queen Antoinette has been sentenced to 50 years for second-degree murder and child abuse, but after serving 25 years, she can be up for parole, based on good behavior. Trevia Williams and Marcus Cobbs have been sentenced to 25 years, with 10 suspended and for good behavior the two can be out in seven and a half years.
Judge Timothy Doory said the death of Javon Thompson was mystifying and the three fit the legal definition of “depraved heart” crimes in that they didn’t care, and knew they didn’t care, about the consequence of their actions.
Doory saved his harshest comments for the cult leader, saying, “You were the collector of people, of lost souls and in the name of religion you have manipulated them.”
Authorities say they manipulated 23-year-old Ria Ramkissoon, who believed her baby would be resurrected through the dead through prayer. When that didn’t happen one member stuffed the body in a suit cases and left it in a storage shed in Philadelphia.
The child’s mother, 23-year-old Ria Ramkissoon, is already in a residential treatment program for young women as part of unusual plea bargain in which her plea will be withdrawn if the child is resurrected, as she believes will happen.
Prosecutors said Antoinette told Ramkissoon that denying food would cure the boy’s rebellious spirit. The mother admitted denying food and water to the 16-month-old child, who wasted away over the course of a week before dying.
After Javon died in late 2006 or early 2007, Antoinette told her followers to pray for his resurrection, and the young mother spent weeks with her son’s body.
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Woman plead guilty to child abuse in death of son with alleged cult members
A woman who starved her 1-year-old son to death at the behest of a the leader of a religious group has been given a suspended sentence and probation.
Ria Ramkissoon pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in the death of her son, Javon Thompson. The plea agreement contained an extraordinary provision: If Javon is resurrected, the plea will be withdrawn.
The head of the alleged cult, Queen Antoinette, told her followers not to feed Javon when he did not say “Amen” before a meal. After he died, she told them to pray for his resurrection.
Ramkissoon said she still believes Javon will come back to life when she testified against Antoinette, the leader’s daughter and another man.