A Colorado woman will spend the rest of her life behind bars in connection to the deaths of her two young daughters — who were banished to a car without food or water because a doomsday religious cult labeled them “impure.”
Nashika Bramble was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without parole for her role in the September 2017 deaths of Makayla Roberts, 10, and Hannah Marshall, 8.
“One for each daughter,” Montrose District Judge Keri Yoder said as she delivered the sentences, which she called “symbolic,” according to the Telluride Daily Planet.
The sister’s bodies were discovered in Bramble’s 1999 Toyota Sedan parked on a farm near the southwestern Colorado town of Norwood, the paper reported.
Bramble was a member of a small nomadic group known as “The Family” that settled on a former marijuana farm owned by Alec Blair during the summer of 2017, according to the Planet.
There, the group awaited the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, which they believed would transport them to another spiritual realm.
At some point, the group’s spiritual leader, Madani Ceus, allegedly deemed the two young girls unclean and exiled them to Brandle’s Toyota — while the group members prepared for the eclipse, according to the report.
No one was permitted to have contact with the sisters or give them food or water — so they died of dehydration, starvation and heat-related issues. Blair, along with Ceus’ husband, Ashford Archer, even concealed the car with a tarp, the paper reported.
Shortly after authorities discovered the girls’ remains, Bramble, who was pregnant at the time, fled to Grand Junction, where she turned herself in.
She was convicted in July of two counts of first-degree murder and has been held at the Gunnison County Jail.
Blair, Ceus and Archer remain in the San Miguel County Jail.
Bramble’s court-appointed defense attorney tried, unsuccessfully, to argue that Bramble was not culpable of murder and should face a lesser charge because she was under Ceus’ influence.
“We may be sitting here in this courtroom thinking this is ridiculous and crazy,” Palefsky said, according to the Planet. “But cult leaders are masters of manipulation. They know who to target.”
He later said there will be an appeal of the judge’s ruling.
With Post wires
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