Remember, folks, exorcism is best left to the experts. Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette
Latisha Lawson rocked slightly in her chair throughout much of her second interview with Fort Wayne police detectives as they questioned her about the death of her toddler.
And as they repeatedly pressed her on the details of how he died, her statements kept going back again and again to her belief that 2-year-old Jezaih King’s body and soul had been completely taken over by a demon named “Marzon.”
It was Marzon that made the baby act out in a way Lawson thought was uncharacteristic for his age, such as making a clicking noise with his mouth, and causing his physical appearance to change, which she compared with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
And when she poured the mixture of “blessed” olive oil and vinegar down his throat in November 2009, it was Marzon that struggled to spit it out and fought against her, not Jezaih.
But it was Jezaih who died, and Lawson, 31, stands accused of murder, battery causing death and neglect of a dependent causing death concerning her son, as well as neglect of a dependent causing injury, neglect of a dependent and battery for allegedly beating and neglecting her 10-year-old daughter.
Police found the little boy’s body stuffed in a storage tote being used as a bedside nightstand in a south-side home in late December, more than a year after his death.
Lawson told detectives it was her roommate, Natasha Hawkins, who told her that the Lord wanted her to get rid of the demon. Hawkins has also been charged in connection with Jezaih’s death. ...
All those in the home – Lawson, Hawkins, Lawson’s two children and Hawkins’ three children – were all suffering from demonic influences, Lawson told police.
At one point, a detective asked her whether she’d consulted with a religious authority, such as her pastor or a church, about what she thought was going on.
“No,” Lawson said. “It was clear to me.”
So she and Hawkins decided to drive the demons out, making all the children drink the concoction. The older children vomited and then sat there while the two women held Jezaih down and tried to get him to drink it, according to testimony.
Lawson told police about the toddler’s reaction, which she attributed to the demon.
“A 2-year-old cannot speak tongues,” she said, which she described as a spiritual gift. “He was speaking tongues. I could not interpret it because it wasn’t of God. … I know this sounds insane, but his voice, his behavior was not a 2-year-old baby.”
As he fought, Lawson covered his mouth and nose with her hand, what she told police was an effort to keep “Marzon” from spitting the liquid back into her face.
But after a few minutes, the baby was still.
His death was ruled a homicide, caused by asphyxia due to neck compression and suffocation, according to testimony.
During her interview with police, Lawson said the demon Marzon told her that he was the leader of the group of demons.
When Lawson and Hawkins were exorcising the demons that November night, Lawson said she heard them talking.
“The spirits were chatting amongst themselves,” she said.
She said she believed that Marzon had completely taken over Jezaih, that the little boy no longer existed in his own body.
“At that time, I felt that we were saving Jezaih from Marzon,” she said.
A detective asked her what she would say when she stood before God and he asked her what happened to her little boy.
Lawson broke down into huge sobs.
The trial is scheduled to end today.