Pastor charged in NY church beating murder

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

7 suspects in Chadwicks church case charged with murder.

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — The pastor of an insular New York church where a young man was beaten to death and his younger brother seriously injured was among seven people charged Tuesday with murder.NEW HARTFORD — Three new people have been charged tonight in the beating death of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard at the Word of Life church in Chadwicks, including Pastor Tiffanie Irwin.Police initially charged the boys’ parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard, with manslaughter, and arrested the others on an array of charges, including assault. Pastor Tiffanie Irwin’s mother, Traci Irwin, also was charged in a 13-count indictment, as were Irwin’s two brothers, Joseph and Daniel Irwin, all of whom were leaders in the church.

Also named were the victims’ father, Bruce Leonard; their half-sister Sarah Ferguson; and two other church members — Linda Morey and her son, David Morey. All eight face charges of manslaughter, kidnapping, assault and gang assault for the attacks on Lucas Leonard and his 17-year-old brother, who survived. Garramone has said the mother felt helpless to stop an “intervention” that she didn’t expect to become so harsh and he didn’t believe she caused the fatal injuries. At a hearing last month, Christopher Leonard testified that Tiffanie Irwin asked the Leonard family and some others to stay behind for a meeting after an eight-hour Sunday service.

Over what he estimated was six or more hours, the teen said he was pummeled with fists and whipped with a 4-foot, folded electrical cord on the back and elsewhere, suffering injuries to his torso and genitals. The case of the boy’s mother, Deborah Leonard, will be handled separately, according to the District Attorney’s Office. • Tiffanie Irwin, 29, of Chadwicks, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, five counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count each of first and second-degree manslaughter, and two counts each of first-degree assault and first-degree gang assault. After the attack, the beating victims’ relatives wouldn’t tell officers where to find the injured Christopher Leonard, who ultimately was located on the church’s second floor, investigators said.

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