After she allegedly killed the shelter coordinator with an axe, a homeless woman who lived in Vermont’s shelter was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
On Monday, Zaaina Asra Zakirrah Mahavish-Jammeh, 38, allegedly lured Leah RosinPritchard, 36, to the living room at a homeless shelter in Battleboro. The shelter is located along Vermont’s eastern border, just across from New Hampshire.
Rosin-Pritchard moved from Rhode Island to Vermont because she wanted to help others. She initially hesitated to meet Mahvish Jammmeh, and told a colleague that Mahvish’s request to meet was “kinda strange,” according to a Battleboro police report. She went into the living room nonetheless. Nearly immediately, Mahvish Jammeh pulled out an axe that she had just purchased at a hardware store and started attacking Rosin-Pritchard.
Other staff members and residents were able to hear the screams and rushed to the room to beg the suspect to stop. Witnesses at the shelter claimed that the horrific slaying had traumatized them.
The 66-year-old man spoke under anonymity. “It was a f***ing brutal and savage murder.” “I can’t sleep. Because I can see that s *** every time I close my eyes.”
Police and first responders pronounced Rosin-Pritchard dead at the scene. She had suffered “significant injuries” to her face, neck, and torso. The unnamed witness said when he first arrived in the living room, he couldn’t even recognize the victim. “That’s how badly smashed the face was,” he said.
Police located Mahvish Jammeh quickly in the building. They claim she was wiping her blood with a paper towel. According to the police report, “After the murder, she took off her overalls and was wearing a bunny-ear headband, blue socks, and grey sweatpants, and continued to carry the knife around the first floor.” The brutal murder of her husband was caught on surveillance video and she was quickly arrested.
Mahvish-Jammeh originally was charged with second-degree killing, but that charge has been elevated to first-degree murder. The suspect appeared to be pregnant during her court appearance. However, no media outlets have reported any pregnancy. The judge ordered that the defendant undergo a mental evaluation to determine if she is able to stand trial.
The witness 66 years old indicated that Mahvish Jammeh had shown signs of mental illness in the past. He claimed that he had told Mahvish-Jammeh two months prior that this would happen and they did not listen. It was only a matter of time before she pulled out a butcher knife. Her choice of weapon was the only thing that I was wrong with. This should never have happened and the good people are dead.
Groundworks Collaborative owns the homeless shelter and issued this statement: “Leah RosinPritchard is irreplaceable. She was a strong, positive, beautiful, and compassionate individual who gave freely of her spirit to support all Morningside House residents as well as her professional colleagues. We cannot express the grief felt by her Groundworks colleagues. Our hearts are with her family and friends.