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WAFF 48 INVESTIGATORS

Natashay Ward: Faith and Forgiveness

Natashay Ward will soon be transported to Tutweiler Prison for Women after a judge sentenced her to life in prison for the murder of her three children.

Both the prosecution and defense agree she suffers from mental illness.

And believe it or not, those who know Natashay Ward describe her as a religious person.

It's a description that still baffles the minds of all those involved in this tragic case.

"You and I would agree, I think, that a mother would not allow her children to starve to death while she reads the Bible and be normal at the same time. I don't think that's the case," says Pastor TC Johnson.

Assistant DA Rob Broussard talked openly about Ward's behavior shortly after she was handed three life sentences for murdering her children.

"I will readily admit that she displayed bizarre behavior during this time such as sending money to charities while her children were dying," Broussard told us after the plea.

Sources tell WAFF 48 News Investigators Ward sent hundreds of dollars to television evangelist Joyce Meyers.

We're also told she sponsored a child monetarily through the TBN Network.

We contacted both shows. They couldn't comment.

However it is clear neither show had any knowledge what was going on in the Ward home.

 An explanation perhaps best defined by the psychologist who worked with Natashay Ward the past two years she's been incarcerated.

"It's not uncommon for people to practice those literal feelings that I've first got to do whatever it is to keep that connection with a higher power," explains Dr. Frankie Preston.

"It means, I'm in my mind pleasing God by doing these literal things. In her case, I would say sending the funds someplace else because at that moment that voice had her captivated. She was not thinking of her own reality, she's living in someone else's reality, which may not even be real," says Johnson.

But both Preston and Johnson say this reality in Ward's mind could lead to actions or inactions that would be unthinkable to the average person.

"Obviously to the typical person, it's very difficult to understand how a person could be religious and yet be negligent in other areas of their lives," says Preston.

After all, Ward was baptized in the Baptist Church, and corresponded with a local Church of Christ study group.

She filled out "Biblical tests" just weeks before her children were found dead.

We're told she scored high on those tests indicating she knew the Bible well.

Johnson tells us knowing the Bible and understanding it are two different things, "The Bible would teach her that her responsibility to those children was to care for, protect and provide for. So the first place I believe in my heart of hearts that we're dealing with a person that's not normal and could not be compared to the everyday mom."

Preston backs up that statement and tells us there are other circumstances could have lead to Ward's mental state. And that fear can be a great motivator or crippling force.

"Fear is generally motivated by actual occurrences that were harmful and dangerous," says Preston.

"On the level of forgiveness, she may need to forgive us. She may need to forgive us for not coming to her rescue in time," adds Johnson.    

Because of Ward's reckless murder plea she will one day have the possibility of parole. That day will likely not come until the year 2052.

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