Mother Convicted of Deaths of 2 Girls Found on Colorado Farm

By The Associated Press

DENVER—A jury in southwest Colorado has convicted a mother of two girls who died after they were banished to a car without food or water by members of a doomsday religious group because the girls were thought to have been impure.

Nashika Bramble was found guilty on July 17 of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2017 deaths of 10-year-old Makayla Roberts and 8-year-old Hannah Marshall, KMGH-TV in Denver reported.

The sisters’ bodies were found in a car parked on a San Miguel County farm near Norwood in September 2017. Authorities said they died of heat, dehydration, and starvation.

Bramble, who is expected to be sentenced this fall, was a member of a religious group that moved to the property earlier that year.

Investigators say they believe the group’s spiritual leader, Madani Ceus, declared the two girls were possessed by unclean spirits during a past life and ordered them kept in a car without food or water for days as the others waited for the apocalypse in advance of the 2017 solar eclipse.

Ceus has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse resulting in death.

Ceus’ trial date is pending, said Sherry McKenzie, spokeswoman for District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller.

Another member of the religious group, Ashford Archer, was found guilty in March of two counts of fatal child abuse and being an accessory to a crime for the deaths of the two girls, The Cortez Journal reported on June 13.

Ashford Nathaniel Archer. ( San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Archer was sentenced on June 4 by District Judge Keri A. Yoder to 24 years in prison on the child abuse counts and six years on the accessory count, with the sentences running concurrently.