During a psychological evaluation inside Essex County jail, where she has been held since the killing of her eight-year old daughter and abusing of two other children, Krisla Rezireksyon Kris, claimed that in October 2011, she had become “extremely religious”, thereby deciding to abide by a stringent lifestyle in order to become even more godly and spiritual. Her neuropsychologist, Joel Morgan, testified earlier this month that while in jail, Kris not only followed a strict diet but also fasted regularly. Kris also claimed to be practicing home remedies, because she believes that doctors, medicines and hospitals are the “work of the devil”, Morgan reported.
“She felt that she was a sinner and that she wanted to get redemption,” Morgan said. “She held these very strong beliefs, and changed her lifestyle in order to become more spiritual, more pure and more godly.”
Based on his psychological evaluation of Kris, Morgan said her religious zeal and mental disorder indicate that, at the time of her alleged crimes, she did not act knowingly or purposely to cause harm to her children, which highlights the mental state required for her to be convicted of her alleged offences.
Morgan said that according to his findings, Kris suffers from “diminished capacity”, a mental disorder that impairs her ability to reach appropriate and normal decisions.
“I think what happened in this very, very sad case is a result of her limited abilities and her adherence to very strict ways of living, of diet, of religion, of her views of hospitals and doctors and medical care,” said Morgan, adding that, “She was, because of her disabilities, unable to have normal comprehension of the risks involved.”
Kris, 34, is currently facing charges related to murder and other offences. Her eight-year old daughter Christina Glenn, who was found dead in the family apartment in Irvington on May 22, 2011, had reportedly suffered severe malnutrition as well as a broken femur. Kris has also been accused of neglecting and abusing her two other children, Christina and Solomon, then aged seven and six respectively. According to a medical examiner looking over the case, they too had been starved after sustaining fractures that were left untreated for a long time. Reportedly, at one point, all three children had been tied to a radiator by their mother.
Myriam Janvier, 27, who lived with Kris and her three children, has also been charged in the case, though her trial is expected to be held on a different date.
During her trial, Kris’ attorney, Adrien Moncur, argued that she suffers from diminished capacity, due to her pastor’s influence on the lives of members of his congregation. Before the start of the trial, Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin ruled that Morgan could not testify that Kris belonged to a religious cult or had been brainwashed by a spiritual leader, because it would not be possible to substantiate those findings with factual evidence. Yet, at the time of his testimony on March 1, Morgan stressed that Kris’ pastor had a “tremendous effect on her” and her preexisting mental disorder made her “easily exploitable”.
“She adopted his way of life. She became a zealot and empowered him with having judgment over her and her children in terms of daily activities, prayer, diet, medical health, everything,” said Morgan, adding that all of Kris’ money went to the pastor.
Following a series of examinations he conducted with Kris, Morgan determined that her overall intelligence quotient was 67, which is “an extremely low score” shared by only 2.2 percent of people. Based on this score, Morgan found that Kris suffered from “mild mental retardation” with signs of other disorders, including “delusional personality disorder”. He also said that Kris showed signs of “delusional thinking”, since she often said she could see and hear her children even when they were not around.
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