Cult trio faces prison in starvation death

March 3, 2010 at 1:21 PM
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BALTIMORE, March 3 (UPI) -- A Baltimore judge has set a spring sentencing date for three members of a religious cult convicted of starving a toddler to death.

The defendants, including the leader of the group who goes by the name Queen Antoinette, were found guilty Tuesday of withholding food from the 16-month-old boy because he did not say "amen" before mealtime.

Antoinette, who is actually 41-year-old Toni Sloan, her 22-year-old daughter, Trevia Williams, and Marcus Cobbs, 23, will all face up to 60 years in a Maryland prison when they are sentenced May 18.

The Baltimore Sun said Wednesday the outcome of the case, which drew national headlines, was settled in less than three hours by the jury Tuesday.

The defendants represented themselves in the week-long trial.

The mummified remains of Javon Thompson were discovered in 2008 packed in a suitcase stashed in a shed in Pennsylvania. The child had been dead about 15 months before being discovered.

The Sun said the case involved claims by Sloan that Javon could be resurrected and threats of "eternal damnation" to keep members of the group in line.

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