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Faith-healing pair acquitted of manslaughter

Posted in News, Skepdude by Skepdude on July 27, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT MSNBC

OREGON CITY, Ore. – An Oregon couple who relied on prayer instead of medical care were acquitted of manslaughter Thursday in the death of their 15-month-old daughter.

The jury convicted the father, Carl Brent Worthington, of criminal mistreatment, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of a year in jail. The mother, Raylene Worthington, was acquitted in the 2008 death of their daughter Ava.

Both had faced manslaughter charges, which could have carried a sentence of up to six years in prison. The mother also was acquitted of criminal mistreatment.

The prosecution said Ava Worthington failed to flourish through most of her life because of a cyst on her neck that impeded her breathing and eating, contributing to her fatal pneumonia. She died on a Sunday evening after family and church members prayed over her and anointed her with olive oil.

The state medical examiner said she could easily have been saved with antibiotics.

‘They’re not monsters’
But the defense attacked the credibility of the state’s expert witnesses and said the child died of a fast-moving form of sepsis, an infection. The Worthingtons testified that the cyst was a trait in the father’s family and that they thought their child only had a cold.

Jurors saw the Worthingtons as loving, caring parents, said 25-year-old juror Ashlee Santos.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT MSNBC

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