D.C. Woman Accused of Killing 4 Daughters Waives Right to Jury Trial

A Washington, D.C., woman accused of killing her four daughters has asked a judge to decide her case.

Attorneys for Banita Jacks told a Superior Court judge Friday that she wants to waive her right to a jury trial that had been scheduled for July.

Authorities say the decomposing bodies of Jacks' daughters were found in her southeast Washington rowhouse in January 2008. They ranged in age from 5 to 17.

Jacks pleaded not guilty in September to charges of premeditated first-degree murder.

Court officials say defendants in felony cases rarely waive a jury trial. Some legal experts say a bench trial could work to her advantage because of the case's emotional content.

Jacks told investigators that the children were possessed by demons and began dying in their sleep, one by one, within a seven-day period, documents say. She also said she had not fed her children for a substantial time before their deaths.