An Indiana mother is being charged with murder after police say she choked her three-year-old son to death while trying to exorcise the devil out of him. Authorities say she thought his crying and temper tantrums were the result of demonic forces.
According to court documents, Fort Wayne resident Latisha Lawson, 31, forced a mixture of oil and vinegar to her children because she believed they were both demon possessed.
Lawson’s daughter Kierra King, 10, vomited when given the mixture. Her son Jezaih King, 3, was given the oil and vinegar three times. On the third time, Lawson told detectives she held Jezaih’s mouth shut for about 10 minutes until he stopped breathing.
Details of the incident, which occurred in 2009, are only coming to light now due to the just-released court documents. The Daily Mail offers more details:
Mrs Lawson then forced her ten-year-old-daughter. Kierra, to pray over her dead brother before wrapping his body in a blanket and storing it in a cupboard.
The toddler's death was only discovered earlier this month when his decaying body was found at Mr Lawson's home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, after a welfare check.
The victim's grandmother had contacted authorities after becoming concerned for his welfare.
“I don't know of any particular denomination that has an official practice saying these are the things you need to use in order to exorcise a demon,” Dr. Quinton Dixie, an IPFW religion professor, told WANE-TV. He explained that oil is usually used to anoint or bless, but rarely does one see it ingested to deter evil.