Mother Kills Toddler While Trying to Exorcise His Demons

Julie Ryan Evans

In a terrifying story out of Indiana, a mother choked her 3-year-old son to death while trying to exorcise the demons she believed were causing his temper tantrums. Latisha Lawson, 31, reportedly tried to get the devil out of little Jeziah King first by forcing him to drink a concoction of olive oil and vinegar. When he tried to spit it out, she reportedly held his mouth shut for 10 minutes, and he died from choking.

After making her daughter, 10, pray over his body, she wrapped it in a blanket and put it in a cupboard. It wasn't until a grandmother became concerned about not seeing the boy in awhile that officials found his decaying body ... more than a year later.

Lawson admitted to the incident, saying she couldn't handle the temper tantrums. She said, “He had gone to be with God approximately one week prior to Thanksgiving 2009.” She's currently being held on $230,000 bond and is awaiting trial on January 20.

According to CNN, the charges against her include "two counts of battery and three counts of neglecting a dependent." But why not murder?

"The intent to kill is what distinguishes murder from everything else. It would be difficult to prove that she intended to kill her child through her actions of what she was doing that would be why they did not file murder," attorney Michelle Kraus told

That's too bad.

I've certainly joked in the past about my toddlers being possessed by demons, and my almost-2-year-old daughter is smack in the middle of tantrum territory, so I understand how frustrating they can be. Sometimes I cry in frustration with her, and other times I just have to walk away because I can't take the whining/crying/screaming. I understand how you're willing to try many techniques to try and tame them.

But clearly this mother went far beyond what any parent should do -- whether she intended to kill him or not. Perhaps she let her religious convictions get out of control, or perhaps she's just using those as an excuse for her violent behavior, or perhaps she's mentally ill. Really, it doesn't matter why she did what she did, because that little boy is dead and has no chance to live the life that was ahead of him ... all because of a temper tantrum.

Image via CNN

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