On Monday a teenager was killed and his brother seriously injured in what member of one church described as a “counseling session”.
Members of the Hartford, New York’s Word of Life Church, including both parents subjected nineteen year old Lucas and seventeen year old Christopher Leonard to hours of physical abuse and punishment in the hopes that the two would “confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness”.
Lucas Leonard died as a result of the abuse and Christopher is in a local hospital reported to be in serious condition.
Authorities said that investigators have yet to determine what “prior sins” actually means.
Sixty five year old Bruce Leonard and fifty nine year old Deborah Leonard have been charged with first-degree manslaughter. Four other members of the church including their sister have been jailed on assault charges.
Police believe that there will be more arrests as the investigation continues.
A preliminary hearing for all six defendants is scheduled for Friday.