This is our archive of news items tagged Ria Ramkissoon.

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Judge Praises Former Cult Mom Who Starved Son to Death

BALTIMORE — A judge praised a young mother for great strides in her treatment after she starved her 1-year-old son to death while part of a religious cult [1 Mind Ministries], and the woman’s attorney said Wednesday she is breaking free of the belief that her son will be resurrected.

Ria Ramkissoon pleaded guilty to a single count of child abuse resulting in death and received a suspended sentence. Prosecutors agreed to the deal after determining that she had been brainwashed by cult leader Queen Antoinette.
[…]

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Antoinette was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

After Javon died, Antoinette ordered Ramkissoon and her followers to pray for his resurrection, and Ramkissoon testified in February that she still believed her son would come back to life.

But her faith in the resurrection is fading, according to her attorney, Steven D. Silverman.

“She’s come to realize that she was misled,” Silverman said.

As part of her deal with prosecutors, Ramkissoon has spent the past 90 days in a faith-based residential treatment center. The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing was to let the court know whether the treatment has been effective.
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After conferring with Silverman and prosecutors, Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory said he was impressed with Ramkissoon’s progress and ordered her to remain at the treatment center until its operators decide she’s ready to leave. She will likely stay there for a year or longer, Silverman said.
[…more…]

– Source / Full Story: Judge Praises Former Cult Mom Who Starved Son to Death, Associated Press via Fox News, Aug. 4, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Prosecutors: Boy starved to death at cult’s hands

Members of 1 Mind Ministries cult on trial

BALTIMORE — The leader of a religious cult was “outraged” when a 1-year-old boy did not say “Amen” before a meal and ordered her followers to deprive him of food and water until he died, a Baltimore prosecutor told jurors Monday.

Three members of the now-defunct cult known as 1 Mind Ministries are on trial for murder in the death of Javon Thompson, who was around 16 months old when he died of starvation and dehydration in either December 2006 or January 2007, according to authorities.

After the boy died, the cult members prayed for his resurrection, then destroyed all evidence of his death and stuffed his body in a suitcase, which they hid in a shed behind a home in Philadelphia, Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Drake told jurors.

The cult members – Queen Antoinette, 41; her daughter, Trevia Williams, 22; and Marcus A. Cobbs, 23 – are representing themselves at trial.
[…[

The jury of seven men and five women listened intently as Drake recounted how Javon’s mother, Ria Ramkissoon, was recruited into the cult and did nothing to stop her son from wasting away, even though she was “distraught” over his slow and agonizing death.

Ramkissoon pleaded guilty last year to child abuse resulting in death and plans to testify against Antoinette, Williams and Cobbs. At her insistence, the plea deal included an extraordinary provision: If Javon comes back to life, the plea will be vacated.

Ramkissoon, then a teenage single mother, joined the cult because she wanted to become a Christian and was told she wouldn’t have to work or go to school, Drake said.
[…more…]

– Source / Full Story: Prosecutors: Boy starved to death at cult’s hands, Ben Nuckols, Associated Press via the Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Mom pleads guilty in cult starvation death — unless resurrection occurs

One Mind Ministries Accepting a plea bargain that her attorney described as unprecedented in American jurisprudence, a 22-year-old Maryland woman yesterday agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of other defendants in the death of her son under the condition that charges against her be dropped if the child rises from the dead.

As part of her probation, the woman must submit to treatment, including sessions with an expert on cult behavior. [Read more...]

2 women in cult-related death case denied bail

Queen Antoinette Two women were ordered held without bail yesterday on charges that they participated in the starvation death of a child whom they considered a “demon” because he wouldn’t say amen after his meals, according to police charging documents.

Police say Antoinette was the leader of a cult and that Williams was one of her followers; each is charged with first-degree murder. [Read more...]

Woman charged in death of son appears in court

Ria Ramkissoon From the moment that Ria Ramkissoon and her baby boy Javon joined the tiny religious cult, 1 Mind Ministries, in April 2006, her life would change irrevocably.

Now, the 21-year-old woman is sitting in the psychiatric unit of a city jail in Baltimore accused by police of slowly starving her son to death and allowing cult members to beat him for disobeying orders such as saying “amen” at meals. [Read more...]