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Cult member fires attorney in boy's death

A man accused of starving a 1-year-old boy to death while part of a religious cult has fired his attorney and will represent himself at trial.

Wednesday's move by Marcus A. Cobbs, 23, means all three cult members on trial for the death of toddler Javon Thompson will act as their own attorneys.

Cobbs had been represented by a public defender. The cult leader, Queen Antoinette, 41, and her daughter, Trevia Williams, 22, have never had lawyers.

Antoinette, Williams and Cobbs were members of a small, now-defunct cult called 1 Mind Ministries. They are accused of denying food and water to Javon because he did not say “amen” after meals. Authorities say that after the boy died, the cult members prayed for his resurrection, then placed his body in a suitcase.

Javon's mother, Ria Ramkissoon, was also part of the cult. She pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death and will testify against the other cult members. Ramkissoon's plea deal contained an extraordinary provision that she insisted on calling for the plea to be withdrawn if Javon is resurrected.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 18, 2010; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Baltimore , Homicide , Maryland  
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Praise the Lord. The things that are done in the name of religion. Her first name is "Queen"? Jesus would have liked that modesty.

Posted by: uncivil | February 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Really don't believe our founding fathers were expecting this with their vision of freedom of religion. The government need to grant someone willing the right for justifiable homicide. I'll be the first to volunteer! Then we could wait for the "Queen's" resurrection.

Posted by: gayliberalconservative | February 18, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know where the crime occured? Doesn't give any clue as to where the defendants lived or what court the case is being tried in.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 18, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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