Zaaina Mahvish-Jammeh has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation after killing shelter coordinator Lean Rosin-Pritchard. 12019/Pixabay


  • The homeless woman bought an ax and used it to kill a shelter coordinator in Vermont, police say
  • A Vermont judge ordered the suspect to undergo a mental evaluation
  • The incident was caught on security video

A 38-year-old homeless woman who police said attacked and killed the coordinator of the Vermont shelter where she has been living was ordered by a judge to undergo a mental evaluation.

Police said the accused, identified as Zaaina Mahvish-Jammeh, bought an ax from a local hardware store on April 1 and then met with the victim, 36-year-old Leah Rosin-Pritchard, at Morningside House shelter in Brattleboro, Vermont, Monday, CBS News reported.

Mahvish-Jammeh had requested the meeting with Rosin-Pritchard, according to police. When they met in the shelter's living room, the homeless woman attacked the social worker with the ax, striking her multiple times, authorities said.

Brattleboro police who responded to a call of an assault in progress said they found Rosin-Pritchard dead on the kitchen floor from injuries to her face, neck and torso, VT Digger reported, citing a police affidavit filed in court.

Police officers saw the homeless woman wiping blood off her hands with a paper towel, the affidavit said.

The attack was captured on surveillance video, which reportedly showed Mahvish-Jammeh addressing the victim while swinging the ax.

"The short conversation they had was very muffled and hard to hear," police Detective Sgt. Greg Eaton wrote in the affidavit. "But it was clear there was no argument before I could hear thudding and the screaming."

The affidavit alleged that after the attack, Mahvish-Jammeh turned to another shelter employee and told them she didn't like Rosin-Pritchard, Fox News Digital reported.

Rosin-Pritchard was pronounced dead at the scene at Morningside House, which is run by Groundworks Collaborative.

Mahvish-Jammeh, who had been living at the shelter for months, was arraigned Tuesday at Windham District Court and pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. She was ordered to receive a mental health evaluation before her case proceeds.

"She is a danger to others and potentially to herself," Judge Katherine Hayes said of Mahvish-Jammeh.

Mahvish-Jammeh's attorney David Sleigh declined to comment on the case Thursday, according to CBS News.

Groundworks Collaborative released a statement on Rosin-Pritchard's death via Facebook.

"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 organization said.

According to officials, Rosin-Pritchard was a volleyball coach, a culinary instructor and a social worker in Rhode Island before moving to Vermont to become the coordinator at Morningside House.

"Beginning my second career in social work, I believe in implementing all I have learned thus far and integrating my skills in a space where I can be of service to the community," part of her bio on LinkedIn read.

A gavel
A judge has ordered a homeless woman to undergo mental evaluation following the murder of a social worker in Vermont. VBlock/Pixabay