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Mother says her 5-year-old daughter had evil spirits, so she killed her

Her daughter had a medical condition that required a tracheotomy
Mother says her 5-year-old daughter had evil spirits, so she killed her
Image source: Cobb County Sheriff’s Office

On Feb. 20, a Georgia mother was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill to felony murder and cruelty to children.

Shekinah Akbar beat her five-year-old daughter to death on Feb. 10, 2020, claiming that she had “evil spirits.”


According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Akbar called 911 to report that her neighbors had tortured and beaten both she and her daughter and locked them in the bathroom for hours at the Cumberland Crossing apartments.

When firefighters arrived, they found the daughter unresponsive in the bedroom and her tracheotomy tube had been removed. The child was pronounced dead at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital.


Akbar’s arrest warrant said the child had visible injuries and bruising over her entire body, as well as injuries on her neck that resembled strangulation. Her body also had bite marks on her face, ear, chest, arms, legs, and hands.

Akbar told Cobb County police that she was performing an exorcism on her daughter to cast out evil spirits. She admitted to hitting and biting her daughter, but didn’t remember inflicting that much harm on the child.

A grand jury indicted Akbar in January 2021. She filed a special plea of insanity but withdrew the notice and entered a guilty but mentally ill plea to felony murder and cruelty to children in the first degree.

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