Woman admits role in toddler’s €˜exorcism’ death

A Fort Wayne, Indiana woman Monday morning admitted she took part in an “exorcism” act that led to a toddler’s death.

The Journal Gazette reports:

Natasha N. Hawkins, 31, pleaded guilty to a Class A felony battery charge in the death of 2-year-old Jezaih King. In June, a jury found Jezaih’s mother, Latisha Lawson, guilty of murder.

Local TV station WANE says

Jezaih King … died when force-fed a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. King’s body had been stored in a plastic tote until discovered by authorities in December 2010.

A plea agreement was put under advisement Monday by an Allen County judge. If the agreement is accepted, Hawkins will spend 30 years in prison.  Two doctors performed mental evaluations on Hawkins and determined she is sane, the judge announced in court Monday.

The toddler’s mother, 31-year-old Latisha Lawson was sentenced in June 2011 to 62 years in prison for the crime. […]

Hawkins along with her three children, Lawson and her daughter were all present when the boy stopped breathing, court documents indicate. Hawkins told police that she would burn a candle in the residence to mask the smell of the body.

The Allen County Prosecutor’s office filed eight felony charges against Hawkins. The charges relate to aiding in battery causing death. Other charges of neglect and battery resulting in bodily injury relate to Hawkins’ treatment of her own children.

Defense attorneys argued the women were obsessed with religion. But prosecutors believe their actions grew out of frustration with a toddler who was up most nights crying, driving everyone in the house to distraction.


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This post was last updated: Friday, December 16, 2016 at 10:57 AM, Central European Time (CET)