Ax murder in Brattleboro homeless shelter

Brattleboro social worker Leah Rosin-Pritchard, who died Monday when attacked by an axe-wielding homeless shelter resident. Photo NASW Facebook page

BRATTLEBORO — Police have identified the victim of a Monday, April 3 murder in Brattleboro as Leah Rosin-Pritchard, a 36-year-old director of a homeless shelter operated by the Groundworks Collaborative.

According to court documents, Zaaina Asra Zakirrah Mahvish-Jammeh, a 38-year-old resident of the Morningside House, a year-round shelter for homeless people, attacked Rosin-Pritchard with an ax in the facility’s living room, where she died.

Mahvish-Jammeh was arrested on second degree murder charges and held without bail, Brattleboro police said. In court, her lawyer entered a plea of innocent to a first degree murder charge. If convicted, she could face 35 years to life in prison.

“Leah Rosin-Pritchard is irreplaceable,” the Groundworks Collaborative said in a statement. “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.”

Mahvish-Jammeh specifically requested to meet with Rosin-Pritchard in the living room before the attack, according to court documents. Other media sources said Mahvish-Jammeh purchased the axe at a hardware store on April 1. Court affidavits cited in a Keene Sentinel news report said Rosin-Pritchard suffered cuts to her face, neck and torso. Police found her dead with Mahvish-Jammeh wiping blood off her hands when police arrived mid-morning following a 9:30 call.

Mahvish-Jammeh had been staying at the 30-bed shelter since last summer, the affidavit reportedly said. Her lawyer reportedly entered a not guilty plea to a first-degree murder charge. She is being evaluated for mental health and capacity to stand trial.

“I heard screaming,” a witness said in a Brattleboro Reformer report. “I come down the stairs. I look around right by where the dining room table is, and there’s a body on the floor, and I couldn’t even tell who it was. That’s how badly smashed the face was.”

“She looked up at me and then went down to beat [the victim] a couple more times in the face,” he said.

Police photos of the suspect were unavailable, but photos from her court appearance were published in local media.

In response to the killing, the National Association of Social Workers is calling for Congress to enact legislation to improve social work safety, according to its Facebook site:

“NASW offers its condolences to the family and colleagues of Vermont social worker Leah Rosin-Pritchard, MSW, who was murdered by a client on Monday while working as a coordinator at a shelter in Brattleboro. NASW is advocating for lawmakers to reintroduce legislation to improve social work safety during this session of Congress. A national social work public opinion survey from Ipsos revealed 84 percent of Americans support such social work safety legislation.”

It was the second slaying in a week in Brattleboro. Tamico Williams, 21, of Hartford CT was shot to death March 30 in what police are calling a ‘targeted killing.’

– Sourced from Brattleboro Police Dept., Newport Dispatch, Keene Sentinel, Brattleboro Reformer

Categories: Crime

40 replies »

  1. Countless criminals are now welcome in VT. Many are fleeing serious charges in other countries.

  2. And the clowns in Burlington want to send social workers on domestic disturbance calls ? What the hell do they expect. Cookies and milk ?

  3. I’d like to know the ethnicity of the killer with the alphabet soup name.

    • Doesn’t matter. Ethnicity, Skin Color, Sexual orientation- None of that matters.
      What matters is that an employee of a homeless services shelter was murdered with an axe. Obviously the accused has mental illness, which will prohibit prosecution.
      What matters is the current leftist attitude toward the homeless and mentally ill, the lack of services available- AND the ignorance of the Vermont legislature to enact adequate laws, programs and service to deal with the mentally ill in a manner that protects the public and those that treat and or assist the afflicted. A super-majority of current Vermont legislators- including current leadership are complicit in this murder- as a result of the inaction of previous legislatures to provide the required services and laws. These legislators had means and opportunity to prevent what happened in Brattleboro in previous bienniums.
      The current and previous legislatures are all to quick to self-congratulate for meaningless legislation or proclaim what little they do in a positive manner as “Solving the problem”.
      The cry from Montpelier’s elitist crowd will be about gun control and pouring tax dollars at treatment- when what is required is a secure lockdown facility and treatment for the severely mentally ill. “No barrier” shelters and mollycoddling the dangerously mentally ill has proven a poor policy. mr. baruth, mr. lalonde and others decry the ‘dangers’ of firearms, while ignoring that Vermont has to provide secure facilities for some of our residents.
      This murder was undoubtedly horrific, violent and probably avoidable- but it will take legislators with wisdom and knowledge, prosecutors and judges with the same to make policy and enforce it. Vermont currently has neither.

      • Well said. The politicians in Vermont with their feel good legislation are responsible for numerous deaths. That includes gang bangers from Massachusetts who were sent to Vermont because of the “raise the age” law and perished due to drug dealing. The state mental hospital closed in 2011. No secure facility available 12 years later. Keep voting these people into office. Feel real good about what you are doing. Killing people.

  4. A truly tragic and senseless murder. What’s a typical bored, guilt ridden, self loathing elitist/Progressive in search of some sense of self worth going to do? It’s clearly not “gun violence”, but, rather, “axe violence”. Do we know have to disarm citizens for all potential instruments of murder? (firearms, knives, axes, lighters/gasoline, etc.) It all illustrates the folly and distraction these Progressive take in their efforts to control the citizenry. They just don’t seem to be interested in really solving the root causes of violence that permeates our society regardless of the instrument of choice. In fact, they do the opposite: they pit citizen against citizen in their attempt to divide all of us which, inevitably, leads to greater incidents of violence.

  5. There was a popular story about a snake I heard not too long ago, somehow that resonates here.

  6. Brattleboro is now feeling the affects of “build it and they will come” approach. The social services non profit community that knows how to get the money to support themselves have expanded the network of services available to anyone who shows up in Brattleboro and needs help. It is clear that the reputation of the town has spread and homeless people in need are being advised to come to Brattleboro as it has “beds” for the homeless. As the number of beds has expanded to well over 50 the number of homeless arriving from away has kept up so that no matter how many beds made available there are homeless not being served. I strongly urge Burlington to get off their duffs and to build their tiny home community so the homeless in Brattleboro have a new place to go.

  7. the assailant should be charged with premediated murder since she went out of her way to go buy the hatchet and specifically requested to meet with Rosin-Pritchard in the living room before the attack, With that foreign sounding name Is the assailant a legal US citizen ?

  8. Do you think it’s time we introduce legislation to restrict people from purchasing axes without their first obtaining a federal background check? Another safeguard we might consider is creating axe-free zones, especially at homeless shelters, to ensure that no one brings axes to those locations or uses axes, particularly assault axes and those with certain features, such as longer handles or bigger heads.

    If we create state and federal legislation for this type of control, it will cut down dramatically on the number of crimes committed with axes.

    One final bill which should be proposed and which will greatly aid in suicide prevention will call for removing the axe head from the handle and storing each part separately with an appropriate axe lock. This will make it much more difficult to commit suicide with axes, although the legislators sponsoring this bill will still find a way to cut off their nose to spite their face.

    • We will potentially be seeing these suggestions become bills very soon, I don’t doubt it.

  9. I wonder how bolshevik becca balant, pete welch and mittens sanders will spin this one. phony phil scott and his boy zuckyman too for that matter…

    • They are denizens of the DC swamp so petty matters like these from back in Vermont dont really get on their radar screen…but anyway, you know what they would say: “this kind of expression is the result of our failure to adequately invest in our people”.

  10. Horrific and sad, yet VT is actively promoting a drug culture, illegal immigration, and endless social programs for EVERYONE, no residency requirement needed!

    Who I blame the most for this senseless murder of this beautiful young woman are the zealots of the legislature & their non-profit clowns who are running around essentially claiming that homelessness is simply an “alternate lifestyle” that we must embrace INSTEAD of acknowledging governmental stats that show that MOST homeless individuals are mentally ill and/or addicted! FACT. REALITY.

    What in the world was this person doing with an Axe in that environment to begin with?? And is this being investigated as a hate crime of some sort?

    • Me talking, not the Chronicle:

      Exactly! WHO AT THAT SHELTER LET AN AXE INTO THE SHELTER? I’ve known people who got kicked out of shelters over a beer, but THAT makes it through!?

      The sad part in that this will only stoke xenophobia and hatred toward those who can’t find a landlord on the one hand, and a mandate to further erode the freedoms of the innocent on the other. The ironic part is that both are will to trade someone’s wellbeing for a false sense of security.

      • The alleged perpetrator is Black, so any attempt to ask about or look for weapons upon entry to the facility would obviously be racist…and no one wants to be called a racist.

    • And in Burlington you can vote if not a citizen! Also new insurance law and trans law takes away parental rights.

  11. My heart truly goes out to people who work in this field – people who truly want to help those in a really awful place. Bless this woman who lost her life following her heart to help people. Unfortunately, with mental heath, the sufferer has to choose to heal and to take the extremely difficult journey to do so. It seems like an upstream battle to “fix” mental health. These people are suffering and no one can save them. They must WANT to save themselves – and we certainly have free services for that when/if they are ready. To use these services as a visual signaling act that we care isn’t getting to the root cause. I am not sure what can make these folks want to heal, but I suppose we can pray that more WANT to work through unimaginable trauma and accept that it’s could to be harder than coming off drugs/alcohol. It’s an awful situation and it will get worse with the current indoctrination in schools…. The rates of depression among youth is not too promising…

  12. Was this a crime involving an assault axe wielded by an illegal alien man dressed as a woman on a real woman who happened to be a bleeding heart liberal? These questions need to be asked. A vicious. pre-meditated murder has committed and someone deserves a death sentence for it.

  13. Tragic. But what would drive a young woman to axe another woman to death? Was she being pimped out? There has to be some back story behind this…didn’t even attempt to flee the scene.

  14. I would like to know more about how Zaaina Asra Zakirrah Mahvish-Jammeh ended up in a Brattleboro, Vermont year-round homeless shelter. Her story is likely worth hearing. We will not hear the details of her journey to Vermont or to the USA. Whether it be an ax, machette, or shot gun – the means by which these new arrivals take out their frustration and misery upon our communities means very little. In the grand scheme being played out, the new arrivals are fodder, collateral, chattle, weaponized, trafficked human beings being used and abused by their handlers. The unsuspecting, well intended, but mind-controlled social workers are treated in the same manner. They too are fodder and chattle in the big scheme being played out. The irony of the new arrivals being trafficked from third world countries only to end up in America, a country sprialling into third world status. Can we see where this going? Can we see who is responsible? Don’t expect any outcry from the equity/inclusion society against human trafficking. Don’t expect them to bite the hand that is feeding their follies. The profiteers of these crimes against humanity will be exposed – hopefully before more buckets of blood is shed and lives destroyed. However, being the powers who can stop this are silent and corrupt, the carnage will continue.

  15. Please remember the victim and pray for her grieving family and friends. She deserves that rather than hurtful comments.

    • Why is providing facts and facing reality considered “hurtful” to you? This should have & would have never happened if the people that you have chosen to represent Vermont utilized such facts & thereby placed all the necessary restraints and precautions, based upon federal governmental statistical data collected over half a century regarding homeless individuals, in order to prevent this horrific crime. Facts and reality such as that the majority of that demographic are drug addicted and/or mentally ill. That no weapons of any type can be brought into the shelters. That random drug testing is done. That background checks are performed. That individuals must be legal US citizens. That security provisions are set in place, etc.

      Nowhere here has any single commenter disparaged that victim whatsoever.

      As far as prayer, all should continue to pray for the electorate of Vermont – that they finally cease viewing this democrat/progressive party as benign and arbiters of “good governance”. That they cease from believing what these extremists are promoting: That legalized prostitution will “help” women. That open borders are good for a sovereign nation. That legalizing more drugs & providing special spaces for Americans to abuse them will be beneficial. That DNA isn’t science & that men can transform into women & vice-versa. That imprisoning violent felons is “cruel” & “racist”.

      But we each possess free will, so instead, Vermont shall continue on to its tyrannous end because most voters simply “follow the leader”.

      Nevertheless, pray we shall continue.

      • Excellent clarity Kathleen! The horrors happening now in Vermont are created by those who run the government. The history of Vermont is nothing like the evil that exits today. The term “Take Back Vermont” means take it back from the political agenda that has destroyed the once strong, independent state. People wanted to move here for the life style and beauty of our natural surroundings and look what they have done. Blame the infested schools, the liberal media, the old time democrats who can’t see what’s happening because of their label democrat. The legislature is promoting evil and the take over of children. And the dem/prog band plays on because of an ignorant voting public. None are so blind as those who refuse to see!

  16. Okay, I’ll ask the question nobody else will. Is Zaaina Asra Zakirrah Mahvish-Jammeh an illegal immigrant?

    • The term “immigrant” is a designation that implies legality, so the term “illegal immigrant” is an oxymoron- the correct legal term is “illegal alien”.
      Were you aware Biden/Mayorkas actually issued a memo that DHS employees can no longer use the term “illegal alien” in favor of “non citizen”?
      Ridiculous right?
      My guess is that this woman was imported here to VT by one of our wonderful refugee programs that clearly has been serving the state so well.
      They don’t care that Vermonters can’t find housing themselves first.

    • None of the media coverage or police documents discuss her citizenship/immigrant status. It is very true that many of the African immigrants brought legally to the U.S. in the last few decades suffered terribly, unbelievably by our U.S. standards, in their homelands and in refugee camps. But is the suspect among this population? We just don’t know.

      • In 2005, a woman, who worked as an advocate/social worker for foster children told the tale of a child put in her charge. The young boy was from the Congo and adopted by a professional couple in Vermont. The boy had witnessed the slaughter of his family during an attack in his village. He suffered nightmares of the event as well as other trauma based afflictions (one likely being in a foreign land completely unfamiliar to him, placed with strangers very unlike him or his community.) The couple who adopted him were connected to the medical community. They placed him on pharmacutical drugs to alter his behavior. The result only made him worse, so he was placed in foster care and the social worker took him in. She worked with him, discovered details of his background through him, and the massacre he witnessed. She advocated to remove him from the medication, the adopted parents refused as did the State. She then advocated for him to be united with other immigrants from his region who were settled in Chittenden County. They agreed to that as the people from his own region of the world may help him assimulate better. I don’t know what happened after that as she lost custody of him and he was returned to the adopted parents. The young boy’s story is just one of millions of people brought into the USA and thrust into a community they know nothing or very little about. Whether the intentions were good or just selfish, ill advised. social engineering, I will never forget that story. I will always question the ways and means people from third world countries end up so far away from their homelands. Particularly, these days when it is widely reported the borders are wide open, the number of children involved, and it’s gone on for nearly a decade with very few people realizing what is really going on.

    • The question I dare to ask is: was she attracted to Brattleboro/VT from somewhere else because of the widely-reputed generous social “safety net”?

  17. First, prayers to the victim and those impacted by this horrific crime. The irony here is that the woman who was so violently murdered undoubtedly voted for policies that put us in the dangerous place we are today. You won’t find a social worker that doesn’t. This is not a casting of blame but hopefully a wake up call for Democrats/progressives/liberals to think more and virtue signal less.

  18. Meanwhile back at the commune,statehouse,city governments, everyone is shocked, holding hands, with uplifted faces ,glowing with unrealistic ideals, all jointly singing…”Kumbuya…Kumbuya.” I’m very sorry for this young lady, and her family, and wish her to RIP; but to others, like her, changing Vermonts way of life, to fit their utopian ideals, I can only say…”Welcome to the real world,of your own making.” Too bad the rest of us must suffer your shattered dreams. Next election vote out every progressive/leftist/socialist… then people, like this poor young lady, might have a chance, in the real world. I would like to see these progressives, that made all this possible, charged with involentary manslaughter, because it is nothing short of that, in my minds eye.

  19. If you go to any correctional facility, you will find a display of makeshift weapons the inmates use to; 1. Protect themselves or 2. Harm other inmates or staff. You will be shocked to see ordinary everyday things that are turned into weapons. This only goes to prove that anything can be used or made into a weapon. Axes, guns, screwdrivers, saw blades, cars, hammers, etc. are tools. It is the person that is the weapon. So please don’t axe me to surrender my guns, because I won’t.

  20. Just imagine how much could be done for the homeless, mental illness and illegal immigration with alllllllll that money sent to Ukriane. Imagine a country that put its citizens first, its economy first, upheld its laws and followed its constitution. Imagine a constitutional republic that acted like one. Just imagine, because that’s all there is anymore.