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By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2010
Three accused cult members, convicted of starving a toddler to death in the name of religion, were sentenced Tuesday to a collective 150 years in prison. Toni Sloan, 41, who claimed God had christened her "Queen Antoinette," received a 50-year sentence composed of two consecutive 25-year terms, one for second-degree murder and the other for first-degree child abuse. Sloan said she was "not sorry" for the toddler's death. Trevia Williams, 22, and Marcus Cobbs, 23 received the same sentence, with all but 15 years suspended for each.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2010
Three accused cult members, convicted of starving a toddler to death in the name of religion, were sentenced Tuesday to a collective 150 years in prison. Toni Sloan, 41, who claimed God had christened her "Queen Antoinette," received a 50-year sentence composed of two consecutive 25-year terms, one for second-degree murder and the other for first-degree child abuse. Sloan said she was "not sorry" for the toddler's death. Trevia Williams, 22, and Marcus Cobbs, 23 received the same sentence, with all but 15 years suspended for each.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | March 2, 2010
Closing arguments are expected today in the Baltimore trial of three alleged cult members accused of starving a toddler to death because he didn't pray properly. The defendants, who are representing themselves, rested their cases within minutes Monday without calling any witnesses. They face decades in prison if convicted. All are charged with child abuse resulting in death, which carries a maximum 30-year penalty, for depriving 16-month-old Javon Thompson of food and water.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | March 3, 2010
A Baltimore jury deliberated less than three hours before finding three accused cult members guilty Tuesday of starving a 16-month-old to death because he did not say "amen" before meals. Marcus Cobbs, 23; Trevia Williams, 22; and her 41-year-old mother, Toni Sloan - who claims God renamed her "Queen Antoinette" - each faces a maximum of 60 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled May 18. The verdicts brought a swift end to a case that captured national attention. The defendants represented themselves in the weeklong trial, and witnesses told stories of strict religious rules, fears about demonic possession and the attempted resurrection of a toddler named Javon Thompson.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | March 3, 2010
A Baltimore jury deliberated less than three hours before finding three accused cult members guilty Tuesday of starving a 16-month-old to death because he did not say "amen" before meals. Marcus Cobbs, 23; Trevia Williams, 22; and her 41-year-old mother, Toni Sloan - who claims God renamed her "Queen Antoinette" - each faces a maximum of 60 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled May 18. The verdicts brought a swift end to a case that captured national attention. The defendants represented themselves in the weeklong trial, and witnesses told stories of strict religious rules, fears about demonic possession and the attempted resurrection of a toddler named Javon Thompson.
NEWS
By Fort Worth Star-Telegram | March 4, 1993
DALLAS -- As children and women trickle out of the high-walled compound of the Branch Davidian sect, a consultant says he is ready to repair what he sees as the human wreckage inside.Dick Ross, a practitioner in the relatively new and controversial field of cult deprogramming, was flown to Texas by Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW.Mr. Ross, who said that he deprogrammed a New York man who was a seven-year member of the cult, said that he was in contact with several families of cult members.
NEWS
By Claudia Rosenbaum and Claudia Rosenbaum,The Prince George's Journal | August 18, 1993
BOWIE -- The Rev. Richard Dow hower has met them all.The ones who believe Lyndon LaRouche is the political messiah. The ones who believe salvation can be achieved through human and animal sacrifices. And the ones who promise to rid a person of all their negative experiences -- for a price.Though each cult has its own methods, they all are strikingly similar in preying on vulnerable people and promising salvation, said Mr. Dowhower, pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church here. But once a member has given in completely to the group, he said, the niceties fade and every aspect of the member's life is controlled.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | January 10, 1999
DENVER -- Relatives of 14 members of a millennial cult kicked out of Israel waited for hours at Denver International Airport yesterday for a chance to see their estranged loved ones, only to be told when the group arrived that their presence was not welcome.As their families wept and raged in disappointment, members of the Denver-based Concerned Christians group left the Air Canada airplane by a back door, and were whisked away under police escort on two buses with large signs reading "Special" to an undisclosed location.
NEWS
By Newsday | February 18, 1992
NEW YORK -- Members of a cult here killed ballerina Monika Beerle in August 1989, dismembered her and then fed her flesh to the homeless as part of a satanic ritual, according to law enforcement sources after the arrest of a cult member in Pennsylvania in connection with the murder.After a 29-month search by New York detectives, Randy Eastherday was arrested Friday on charges that he and several others helped Daniel Rakowitz, "The Butcher of Tompkins Square Park," stab Ms. Beerle and dissect her corpse.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | March 27, 1993
WACO, Texas -- Federal authorities said yesterday that they have begun edging closer to the fortified compound of the David Koresh cult and clearing its surrounding grounds of debris that could hamper an assault."
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | March 2, 2010
Closing arguments are expected today in the Baltimore trial of three alleged cult members accused of starving a toddler to death because he didn't pray properly. The defendants, who are representing themselves, rested their cases within minutes Monday without calling any witnesses. They face decades in prison if convicted. All are charged with child abuse resulting in death, which carries a maximum 30-year penalty, for depriving 16-month-old Javon Thompson of food and water.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 2, 2010
A Baltimore jury on Tuesday afternoon convicted three alleged cult members on charges of first-degree child abuse resulting in death and second-degree murder for starving a 16-month-old boy in their city apartment because he did not say "amen" before meals. Prosecutors argued that the defendants showed the "height of maliciousness" in not feeding Javon Thompson as punishment, even if they never intended the boy's death, which happened slowly and painfully over days. "His skin discolored, his eyes sunk in, his lips got chapped," Assistant State's Attorney Patricia McLane told the jury during her closing arguments Tuesday.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Baltimore Sun reporter | February 24, 2010
The mother of a dead child testified Wednesday that she agreed to starve her toddler son, who refused to say "amen," to rid him of a demonic spirit that was potentially placed there when her own mother offered the boy up to the devil. Ria Ramkissoon, 23, also said she has faith that God will resurrect her son, Javon Thompson, and she's not afraid to say so, even if it makes her sound crazy. "I don't have a problem with sounding crazy in court," she said bluntly, as former acquaintances poked each other in the audience and rolled their eyes.
NEWS
February 19, 2010
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, alongside two other cult members who also don't have lawyers. Marcus A. Cobbs, 23, told a judge during jury selection Wednesday that he wanted to fire his public defender, Maureen Rowland. Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory asked him a series of questions before allowing him to dismiss her. Cobbs then took a seat at the defense table next to two other members of the now-defunct group called 1 Mind Ministries: Queen Antoinette, 41, and her daughter, Trevia Williams, 22. Antoinette and Williams have not had lawyers since their arrests.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | February 17, 2010
Queen Antoinette - aka Toni Sloan or Toni Ellsberry - sat at a defense table Tuesday and grimaced every time she heard a statement she didn't like, particularly those containing the words "cult" or "commune." Her actions irked Assistant Public Defender Maureen Rowland, representing one of Antoinette's co-defendants in a bizarre homicide case that involves the alleged starvation death of a toddler. Antoinette's side comments during the motions hearing are "just one small thing that is going to come up over and over and over again," Rowland argued before Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy Doory as she sought a separate trial for her client.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | May 29, 2003
A Westminster woman who lived with reputed cult leader Scott Caruthers was released from jail yesterday after serving 19 months for plotting with Caruthers to have two people, including her ex-husband, murdered. Dulsa Naedek, 44, was ordered to undergo "deprogramming" by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist as a condition of her release. Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway sentenced her to two concurrent 15-year terms, suspending all but the time Naedek had served since her October 2001 arrest.
NEWS
By Cox News Service | April 21, 1993
WASHINGTON -- The FBI spied on the Branch Davidian sect during the 51-day siege at Waco with an array of sophisticated gadgets, including eavesdropping devices that were slipped into the compound with supplies.Law enforcement sources said radio transmitters smaller than cigarettes were smuggled into David Koresh's Mount Carmel cult headquarters, while heat-sensitive surveillance equipment "watched" the compound from outside.In Waco yesterday, FBI agent Jeff Jamar declined to say whether the FBI had used listening devices planted inside the compound before Monday's fatal attempt to force the cult members to give up."
NEWS
By Jason Song and Jason Song,SUN STAFF | October 21, 2001
A fifth person has been arrested and charged in a murder-for-hire plot allegedly desiged to eliminate critics of a space-alien cult, Maryland State Police said yesterday. Amy C. Dardick of the 100 block of Masters Court in Westminster was arrested at 6:15 p.m. Friday after police stopped her Lexus on Tahoma Farm Road. No bond was set at a hearing yesterday morning in Carroll County District Court, and she was taken to the Carroll County Detention Center. State police accused Dardick, 39, of conspiring with four other members of a cult led by Scott Caruthers to kill Dardick's ex-husband, Lewis Dardick.
NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF | April 8, 2003
A woman who lived with reputed cult leader Scott Caruthers admitted yesterday conspiring with him to try to have her ex-husband murdered. Dulsa Naedek also entered a guilty plea to a second murder conspiracy charge, this one involving a former business associate of Caruthers. Under a plea agreement, Naedek would serve 18 months of a 15-year prison term. She has been held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Carroll County Detention Center since her arrest October 2001, meaning that she likely will have served her time by her sentencing, scheduled for May 22. One point of contention at yesterday's hearing in Carroll County Circuit Court involved the prosecution's proposal that Naedek be required to be "deprogrammed" as a condition of her probation.
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