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 Ramkissoon's plea deal contained an extraordinary provision that she insisted on calling for the plea to be withdrawn if Javon is resurrected.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
Washington Post Editors
February 18, 2010; 12:32 PM ET
Categories: Baltimore , Homicide , Maryland
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