Bench trial for woman accused in daughters’ deaths
WASHINGTON — A judge will decide the case of a woman accused of killing her four daughters, whose bodies were found decomposing in the family’s southeast Washington home in January 2008.
The girls ranged in age from 5 to 17.
Banita Jacks, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated first-degree murder, waived her right to a jury trial Thursday. D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg accepted Jacks’ request for a bench trial, despite objections from her attorneys.
Jacks’ attorneys asked for the trial to be delayed, saying she is not competent and has refused to meet with them on two recent occasions. Jacks says she could not meet with them because she was fasting.
Weisberg says he has found Jacks to be “completely lucid.”
The trial is set to begin July 13.