Five Found Guilty in Maori Exorcism Death
Mentally ill woman was drowned in attempt to purge her of evil spirits
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2009 4:06 AM CDT
The five found guilty will be sentenced in August. Three others were acquitted of killing the woman during a Maori ritual.   (©Steve & Jemma Copley)
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(Newser) – Five people who drowned their niece in an attempt to rid her of evil spirits have been found guilty of manslaughter by a New Zealand court, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The 22-year-old woman, who prosecutors said was mentally ill, died after the group poured water over her face for hours in a Maori curse-lifting ritual.

The court was told that the woman's family believed she had been possessed by demons after the theft of a concrete lion from a pub. The woman's grandfather said his hatred towards the accused has now been replaced by sadness. "We've made our peace with them. They didn't know what they were doing, even though I told them not to go down that road," he said.