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‘Strong, Positive, Beautiful’ Vermont Homeless Shelter Worker Killed By Woman Wielding Hunter’s Axe: Officials

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Apr. 5 2023, Published 3:19 p.m. ET

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A woman in Vermont faces a possible sentence of life behind bars if she’s convicted of killing a homeless shelter coordinator with an axe, officials said.

Zaaina Mahvish-Jammeh, 38, was arraigned in a Brattleboro court on April 4 and pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of 36-year-old Leah Rosin-Pritchard the previous day, WCAX reported.

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According to an affidavit of probable cause, Mahvish-Jammeh was a resident of the shelter Morningside House and asked to meet with Rosin-Pritchard. Police alleged the suspect had purchased a hatchet two days earlier and then attacked the shelter employee with the tool, striking her in the face, neck and torso.

When responding officers located the suspect, she “was wiping blood off of her hands with a paper towel,” police wrote in the affidavit.


An officer noted the killing was recorded on a surveillance camera near the living room where the deadly incident began. During the attack, police said the footage allegedly shows Mahvish-Jammeh briefly paused stabbing the victim to speak with another employee of the shelter, telling her, “I like you” and, possibly, “It’s Leah [I] don’t like.”

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

A judge ordered the suspect to undergo a mental evaluation and is being held without bail, according to WCAX-TV.

“Leah Rosin-Pritchard is irreplaceable. She was a wonderfully strong, positive, beautiful and compassionate person who gave generously of her spirit and skills in support of all Morningside House residents and her professional colleagues,” the shelter’s parent organization, Groundworks Collaborative, said in a statement.


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