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Practical World True News Magazine

Bad Religion : New York couple charged with beating son to death in church

New York couple charged with beating son to death in church.

Bruce Leonard, left, and Deborah Leonard, center, enter the courtroom before their arraignment on Tuesday in New Hartford, New York. Photograph: Mark DiOrio/AP


A New York couple has been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church, police said on Tuesday.
Four fellow church members have been charged with assault in the attack,
which also left the young man’s brother severely injured.
Bruce Leonard, 65, and Deborah Leonard, 59, of Clayville, were charged with
first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas, said Lieutenant
Timothy O’Neill of the New Hartford police department. O’Neill said Lucas
Leonard died on Monday after he was beaten at Word of Life church in New
Hartford, which is 80 miles (130km) north-west of Albany.
His 17-year-old brother is in a serious condition in hospital with injuries
from an assault.
The six church members were arraigned on Tuesday and sent to Oneida county
jail. At the arraignment, it was revealed that both teens suffered injuries to
their abdomens, genitals, backs and thighs. Bail for the Leonards was set at
$100,000 each and for the four other defendants at $50,000 each. All pleaded not
guilty.
Police said more arrests were expected as the investigation continued.
Details about the attack or what may have led up to it have not been disclosed.
The investigation began about 12.30pm on Monday when family members brought
Lucas Leonard to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Investigators
determined that the Word of Life church was the scene of the crime, and the
building was surrounded by special operations teams from state and local police
agencies.
Police eventually entered the church, a three-story brick building on a
residential street that originally housed a school. Several church members were
interviewed, and several children were turned over to child welfare officials.
In addition to the Leonards, police arrested David Morey, 26, of Utica; Linda
Morey, 54, of Utica; Sarah Ferguson, 33, who lives at the same address as the
Leonards; and Joseph Irwin, 26, who lives in the church building.
The Oneida county district attorney, Scott McNamara, declined to comment on a
motive or other details of the case. He said a preliminary hearing for all six
defendants was scheduled for Friday.
Bruce Leonard’s lawyer, Don Gerace, said it was too early to comment on
details of the case.
Deborah Leonard’s lawyer, Devin Garramone, declined to comment. Contact
information for the other defendants’ attorneys wasn’t immediately available.
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