NY man dies after he was beaten in church
Bruce and Deborah Leonard, above, have been charged in New Hartford in connection with an incident inside the Word of Life Christian Church that resulted in their two sons being viciously beaten, one of them fatally.
The events that led up to 19-year-old Lucas Leonard’s death and the assault of his younger brother Christopher, 17, on Monday still are unclear.
According to this report, both victims suffered injuries to their stomachs, genitals, backs and thighs.
Police offered no motive for why the boys’ parents, residents of Clayville, would be involved in inflicting such injuries on their own home-schooled children.
The couple pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned on felony first-degree manslaughter charges on Tuesday afternoon in New Hartford Town Court.
Four other church members were charged with felony second-degree assault for allegedly injuring Christopher Leonard.
The incident also resulted in several children found at the church being taken into custody by Oneida County Child Protective Services.
Bail for the Leonards was set at $100,000 each; bail for the other four defendants was set at $50,000.
According to New Hartford police, at about 12:30 p.m. Monday, officers were sent to the St Luke’s campus of the Mohawk Valley Health System after a reported gunshot victim arrived at the hospital in a private vehicle.
The victim, Lucas Leonard, later died as a result of his injuries.
Police said Leonard appeared to have suffered extensive injuries from blunt force trauma rather than a gunshot wound.
Police later entered the church, located in the hamlet of Chadwicks, where they found the second victim, Christopher Leonard, who also was badly injured. He remained in serious condition at a local hospital on Tuesday night.
Bruce Leonard is listed as a trustee of the church, a former school building
Adriane Hectus, who once lived next door to the church, said:
There was just a really weird vibe about the place.
Meanwhile, it is reported here that a seven-year-old girl, identified only as Yara, above, was beaten to death in Saudi Arabia by her father because she alleged told him that she did not love him.