A judge sentenced the leader of a religious sect to 2 years in prison Wednesday for hiding an elderly follower’s rotting body on a toilet for weeks.
Prosecutors said Bushey kept the body hidden so he could collect Middlesworth’s Social Security checks and annuities. Bushey’s attorney, Thomas Steinman, argued that Bushey thought God would bring Middlesworth back to life.
Alan Bushey, also known as Bishop John Peter, led a religious community called the Order of the Divine Will. He pleaded no contest to hiding
a rotting corpse on a follower’s toilet.
He told the follower to pray to God to bring the body back to life, but meanwhile collected the victim’s social security checks.
A woman charged with helping to hide a corpse in her Necedah home is also a victim of the man who is charged with directing that failed resurrection, lawyers for both the prosecution and defense said Monday.
“We do regard (Tammy Lewis), at least in part, as a victim of this cult
activity,” said County District Attorney Scott Southworth.
Lewis told investigators Bushey, who also goes by Bishop John Peter, told her to leave Middlesworth’s body in the bathroom and pray for God to bring her back to life. Lewis’ son told detectives Bushey told him demons were destroying Middlesworth’s appearance to make it look like she wouldn’t return to life, the complaint said. [video]