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Guilty plea depends on resurrection

Tue., March 31, 2009

A former religious cult member pleaded guilty Monday to starving her 1-year-old son to death after making an unusual deal with prosecutors: If the child is resurrected, her plea will be withdrawn.

Ria Ramkissoon, 22, also agreed to testify against four other members of the now-defunct religious group known as 1 Mind Ministries. All four are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Javon Thompson.

According to a statement of facts, the cult members stopped feeding the boy when he refused to say “Amen” after a meal. After Javon died, Ramkissoon sat next to his decomposing body and prayed for his resurrection.

Ramkissoon pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse resulting in death. She will remain in custody until she testifies against her co-defendants and will receive a suspended 20-year sentence and serve five years probation.

Carthage, N.C.

Shooter may have been after his wife

A painter accused of shooting up a North Carolina nursing home may have been after his recently estranged wife during a rampage that killed seven defenseless residents and a nurse tending to their care, authorities said Monday.

Robert Stewart’s wife was working as a nursing assistant at Pinelake Health and Rehab when he attacked Sunday, not long after the two split, said Carthage Police Chief Chris McKenzie. The breakup ended a rocky relationship that spread over many years and bookended other failed marriages, according to court documents.

Authorities declined to elaborate on how their relationship may have played a role in the rampage, but the prosecutor who charged the 45-year-old suspect with murder left no doubt the attack had a purpose.

“We can share this: This was not a random act of violence,” said Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger. “There is only one suspect and he is in custody.”

From wire reports


 

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