Prosecutor accuses parents of withholding evidence in faith-healing death

A Clackamas County prosecutor on Monday accused members of an Oregon City church of tampering with evidence after the faith-healing death of a premature infant last year.

The disclosure arose during a bail reduction hearing requested by Dale and Shannon Hickman, who are accused of second-degree manslaughter in the death of their newborn son, David.

Attorney’s for the Hickmans asked Circuit Judge Eve L. Miller to reduce or waive the couple’s bail, set at $250,000 each. The attorneys noted that couple had long ties to the community, posed no threat to the public and would continue to attend all court appearances.

Michael Regan, a senior deputy district attorney, argued against the reduction and said the couple was not trustworthy.

Regan said the Hickmans and their friends withheld video and photos taken around the time of David’s birth.

Criminal investigators asked the Hickmans for any documentary evidence but the video and pictures were routed to the Hickmans’ attorneys instead of to detectives. It is not clear when prosecutors learned about the evidence.

The seriousness of the charge and the Hickmans’ knowing refusal to seek care for a newborn were further grounds to deny lower bail, Regan said.

The Hickmans are members of the Followers of Christ, an Oregon City congregation that practices faith healing and rejects medical treatment. They are charged with second-degree manslaughter.
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- Source / Full Story: Prosecutor accuses parents of withholding evidence in faith-healing death, Steve Mayes, The Oregonian, Sep. 13, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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