Defense attorneys representing Dale and Shannon Hickman tried to turn the tables Thursday by making the Clackamas County district attorney’s office the focus of their clients’ faith-healing homicide trial.
Category: Followers of Christ
The church has a long history in Oregon of child deaths involving treatable illnesses.
The congregation has a long history of children dying from curable conditions because parents rejected medical care in favor of spiritual treatments.
An Oregon City couple who treated their infant daughter with faith healing rather than take her to a doctor were sentenced today in Clackamas County circuit court to 90 days in jail and three years probation.
A jury spent one hour deliberating Tuesday before unanimously finding an Oregon City couple guilty of felony criminal mistreatment for treating their infant daughter with faith-healing rather than taking her to a doctor.
The Wylands face up to five years in prison but are likely to receive probation and possibly some time in jail. They will be sentenced June 24.
The defense rested today in the faith-healing trial of Timothy and Rebecca Wyland after bringing a doctor to the stand who praised the Wylands’ compliance with court-ordered medical care for their infant daughter, Alayna.
The Wylands belong to the Followers of Christ church, which embraces faith healing and rejects medical care.
The Wylands are charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment for failing to provide medical care to Alayna, now 17 months old. State child-welfare workers took custody of the girl in July to treat the growth, called a hemangioma, that covered her left eye and spread into her eye socket. Doctors testified that the expanding mass was threatening her eyesight.
Defense attorneys in turn argued that the parents are the victims of both religious discrimination and an overly aggressive bureaucracy that snatched heir daughter.
The Followers of Christ Church has left a trail of dead children in its wake.
Jury selection for two more members of the Followers of Christ Church is set to begin Tuesday, a day after the Oregon Senate passed a bill to crack down on faith-healing parents who don’t take their children to the doctor.
Tim and Rebecca Wyland are the third set of parents who belong to the Oregon City church who will stand trial for not getting their child medical attention.