A woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing a friend during an exorcism ritual, police said Thursday. Justice Claudette Singh imposed the sentence late Wednesday, saying Patricia Alvez, 42, had been convicted "of a shocking crime which claimed the life of a woman she befriended."

A 12-member jury convicted Alvez of manslaughter last week for killing Kamille Seenauth, 34, on February 15, 2002. She allegedly beat Seenauth with an iron bar in an attempt to drive evil spirits out of her.

Seenauth's battered body was found in a shallow grave in Alves' backyard the day after the beating. Neighbors called police after seeing a foot sticking out of the ground.

Alvez ran what Guyanese call a "Spirit Church" from her home in the capital of Georgetown. Neighbors said they frequently called police to report screams coming from the house.


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