Category: Black Hebrew Israelites

Vegan couple cleared of starving baby, guilty of child neglect

MIAMI, Florida — A couple who kept their five children on a strict raw foods diet was cleared of aggravated manslaughter Monday for the death of their 6-month-old baby, but convicted of four counts of child neglect. A Miami jury returned the verdict after less than 90 minutes of deliberation in the trial of Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn, who were accused of feeding their children an inadequate diet of raw fruits and vegetables in spite of signs that they appeared malnourished and underweight. The four counts of neglect relate to the Andressohns’ oldest surviving children, ages 4 to 9. They

Defense expert: baby died of natural causes, not malnutrition

MIAMI – A 6-month-old baby fed a diet of raw food died of natural causes brought on by a compromised immune system that was not the result of malnutrition, a medical expert testified Thursday in the manslaughter trial of the infant’s parents. “What we have is a natural disease that killed someone,” said Dr. John Marraccini, a former Palm Beach County medical examiner and Harvard University-trained forensics expert who is being paid for his testimony. “The wrong impression is what this case is all about,” Marraccini told jurors. Marraccini is the key expert for the defense in the trial of

Witness: Children of vegan couple seemed healthy before baby’s death

MIAMI — The children of a vegan couple appeared bright-eyed and healthy to a case worker who investigated claims of child neglect at the family’s home in 2002. Child protection investigator Rose Lesniak told a Miami jury that she visited the home of Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn three times in 2002 to look into reports that the couple was not feeding their children properly and each time left with the same impression. “I didn’t see any risk factors,” Lesniak testified Tuesday in the couple’s trial. “There were no hazardous signals and there was always food in the home.” As the

Cult tied to cases of racist violence, kid abuse

The controversial Black Israelites have been slammed as a dangerous, racist cult with members who have been convicted of torturing and killing whites for sport and abusing children. In Florida, two members are on trial for manslaughter for allegedly putting their 5-month-old daughter on a strict raw food diet that led to her death from malnutrition. Founded in the late 1960s, the group members follow the Old Testament and believe they are the true Hebrew race of Israel. They wear natural fabrics, eat a vegan diet and shun conventional medicine while some leaders preach that whites are evil. In Boston,

Sect baby’s death probed

Hub sect baby’s death probed: Body held in NYC as officials check for neglect The baby of a South End couple in a controversial religious sect died in a Brooklyn hospital after coming down with a high fever and her body has been held in a New York City morgue for three weeks while officials probe the death. Two-year-old Seraiah Yisrail’s fever soared to 104 degrees while visiting Brooklyn with her Black Israelite parents for the Rosh Hashana holiday. Parents Gemariah Yisrail and Sheree Morgan called for an ambulance and the baby died an hour after arriving at Brooklyn’s Woodhull

Guardian: Children of parents accused in infant’s death were malnourished

Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn face up to 50 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter for the death of their 6-month-old daughter. MIAMI — The children of manslaughter defendants Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn have each gained about 20 pounds and grown more than one foot since they were taken from their vegan parents, the children’s aunt and guardian told jurors Thursday. The couple is accused of starving to death their 6-month-old daughter, Woyah, with a strict raw-vegetable diet and causing severe malnutrition in their surviving four children, who moved in with Joseph’s half-sister, Mary Andressohn, following Woyah’s death in June

Cop: Dying Baby Looked Like Famine Victim

MIAMI — A dying 6-month-old baby who had been on a raw food diet looked like a starving famine victim usually seen in a poverty-stricken foreign country, a police officer testified on Tuesday in the manslaughter and child neglect trial of the infant’s parents. Homestead Officer Robert B. Brown told a Miami-Dade County jury that he saw Woyah Andressohn lying on a blanket on the floor of an apartment after he responded to a frantic 911 call placed the night of May 14, 2003 by her parents, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn. The baby’s arms and legs were rail-thin and her

Brothers testify in parents’ trial over sister’s raw food diet

One of two brothers who testified on Wednesday in their parents’ trial on child neglect and manslaughter charges said he was told his infant sister died accidentally, and that he was hungry while on a strict raw food diet, but feared punishment if he said so. Both boys, aged 7 and 9, said they are now eating cooked food, including tacos. They and two other children of Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn have been living with a relative under state supervision since their 6-month-old sister, Woyah, died in May 2003. Prosecutor Herbert E. Walker III said that the Andressohns starved their

Baby’s starvation death under investigation

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, May 17, 2003 By Diana Marrero, Miami Bureau The siblings of a 5-month-old girl who police say may have starved to death also appear to be malnourished, a medical doctor trained in child abuse and neglect told a juvenile dependency court judge Friday. As detectives investigate whether Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn were responsible for their infant’s death, the couple’s four other children remain in the custody of the state Department of Children & Families. The Andressohns, who followed a strict diet of uncooked organic foods devoid of animal byproducts for religious reasons, could be charged with