Parents found guilty in Oregon City faith-healing trial

A Clackamas County jury found Jeffrey and Marci Beagley guilty today of criminally negligent homicide for failing to seek medical care for their 16-year-old son Neil Beagley.

Instead of taking their son to a doctor when he became ill, the Beagleys treated him with faith healing – prayer, anointing with oil and laying on of hands.

The Beagleys could face a maximum of 10 years in prison. Because the two have no prior convictions, the normal sentencing range under state sentencing guidelines would be 16 to 18 months in prison.
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The Beagleys are the first Oregon parents convicted of homicide in the faith-healing death of a child since the state legislature eliminated spiritual treatment as a defense in such cases in 1999. Legislators cracked down on faith healing due in large part to a history of child deaths associated with the Beagleys’ Oregon City congregation, the Followers of Christ church.

In July 2009, the Beagleys’ son-in-law, Carl Brent Worthington, was found guilty on a lesser charge – criminal mistreatment – for failing to provide medical care to his 15-month-old daughter, Ava Worthington. Raylene Worthington, the child’s mother, was acquitted on all charges.

Ava Worthington died about four months before Neil Beagley, also after marathon faith-healing sessions.
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- Source / Full Story: Parents found guilty in Oregon City faith-healing trial, Nicole Dungca, The Oregonian, Feb. 2, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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