Victims' Half-Sister Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Word of Life Church Beating

Brendan O'Connor · 07/05/16 05:55PM

On Tuesday, a judge found Sarah Ferguson not guilty of second-degree murder, but guilty of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and first-degree gang assault for her role in a mass beating that left her 19-year-old half-brother Lucas Leonard dead and her 17-year-old half-brother Christopher Leonard severely injured.

Father of Boy Killed in Church Beating Cites Scripture: "Blows That Hurt Drive Off Evil"

Brendan O'Connor · 06/30/16 02:45PM

The father of two boys beaten and whipped in a group counseling session last year testified on Wednesday that his sons were attacked by members of their church because they had been suspected of sexually molesting their sister and their half-sister’s children. “Blows that hurt drive off evil,” Bruce Leonard told the court, by way of explanation.

Surviving Brother in Brutal Church Beating Admits to Molesting Half-Sister's Children

Brendan O'Connor · 06/27/16 01:55PM

The murder trial of Sarah Ferguson began in Utica, New York, last week. Ferguson is accused of participating in a group counseling session at the Word of Life Church that left her 19-year-old half-brother Lucas Leonard dead and her other half-brother, Christopher, mutilated. Prosecutors said the beatings began when Tiffanie Irwin, the church pastor, allegedly accused the boys of using witchcraft, making a voodoo doll of the pastor, and sexually abusing their siblings and nieces.