A woman, who considered herself the divine leader of a doomsday cult, received two consecutive 32-year sentences for her role in the 2017 child deaths in Norwood.
Seventh Judicial District Court Judge Keri Yoder handed down the sentence Friday to Madani Ceus, who was previously convicted of two counts of class two felony child abuse resulting in death, knowingly and recklessly.
Sisters Makayla Roberts, 10, and Hannah Marshall, 8, were found dead inside a tarped vehicle parked on a farm in Norwood in the summer of 2017.
Ceus, who was 37 when arrested, was a native of Haiti and a self-styled religious leader of a traveling doomsday cult that came to Norwood in 2017.
“Ms. Ceus said a number of things that basically corroborated our testimony. For example, she said from a young age, she has thought of herself as a creator. She also referred to the two girls as ‘little bitches.’ She stated that the girls were unclean, and she didn’t want them around her children,” said San Miguel Sgt. Dan Covault, lead investigator. He was in the courtroom for the sentencing.
Ceus will remain at the San Miguel County Jail until she is transfered to Colorado Department of Corrections.
At the time of her arrest, San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said members of the group believed Ceus to be a “powerful witch.” It was also reported that voodoo, which is practiced in Haiti, was part of the cult.
“This cult found their way to our county and committed horrific abuse to these little girls who died as a result of the inhumanity of Ms. Ceus and her associates,” Masters said after Ceus was sentenced.
The investigation revealed that Ceus ordered the children be sequestered to the car, and it is likely they succumbed to starvation, heat and dehydration. Because the bodies were in a partly mummified condition, pathologists were unable to determine the exact cause of death.
The children’s mother, Nashika Bramble, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole in September 2019.
Ceus’s husband Ashford Archer was convicted of two counts of fatal child abuse and one count of being an accessory to a crime, and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Frederick “Alec” Blair, who owned the farm where the deaths occurred, took a plea deal in exchange for a guilty plea on the accessory charge and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
A fifth member who was charged, Ika Eden of Jamaica, was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and is being treated at the state mental hospital in Pueblo.