Trial Date Set in Case of “Demon Assassin”
Sanford, along with her friend Zakieya Avery called themselves “Demon Assassins” in the brutal stabbing of four children to rid them of alleged demons who they told police had invaded the children’s bodies. Sanford faces first-degree murder charges in the case.
Dressed in a red shirt and tan paints, Sanford sat alongside her defense attorney David Felsen Wednesday saying “good morning” to Judge Cherly McCally. The brief status hearing was to set April 13 as the trial date in the case.
Previously, a Maryland state psychiatrist, assessed Sanford’s mental condition saying in court Sanford was competent to stand trail but not criminally responsible for her actions. Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s office, defined competent as able to aid in one’s own defense and understand and communicate with your attorney. Being not criminally responsible means that you did not know the difference between right and wrong at the time the act was committed, Korionoff said.
Felsen said the state’s attorney’s office has not filed any notice that they plan to submit testimony of an expert to dispute those findings.
Felsen described Sanford as “doing much better than she was at her original arraignment. She has been receiving treatment and she is away from Ms. Avery. She has the love and support of her family.”
In fact, Felsen said Sanford’s father has attended each court proceeding in his daughter’s case including the one held Wednesday.
On Jan. 17, Montgomery County police officers responded to the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive in Germantown where they discovered four children that had been assaulted. Police said two of the children were pronounced dead on the scene and the other two were transported to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Detectives charged Avery, who is the children’s mother and Sanford with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.