NY man dies after he was beaten in church

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.

31 responses to “NY man dies after he was beaten in church”

  1. Laura Roberts says:

    That weird vibe? It’s called “religion”.

  2. Broga says:

    “Word of Life Christian Church”. They do choose great names. Looks like “Word of Death” would have been more appropriate. But torture,
    (crucifictions, burning, Inquistion), regular cannibalism (eating flesh, drinking blood) and slaughter infiltrates every part of the Christian Church.

    No mercy from God because children are involved. He ordered one man to kill his own son. The same bloodletting goes on in other religions. The believers are enmeshed in a culture of violence. So this here is in the minor league.

  3. Head Teacher says:

    This is what religion does to people.
    No doubt they were just doing what they thought their god told them to do.
    Just like:-
    Jews cutting off male baby foreskins
    Muslims stoning women for adultery
    Muslims raping virgins so they can be executed
    Muslims slicing off prepubescent girls external genitalia
    Muslims shooting girls in the head for going to school
    Muslims executing homosexuals
    Catholics denying women and girls abortions when their lives are in danger
    Muslims murdering muslims for being the wrong kind of muslim
    Muslim gangs hacking people to death for being atheist bloggers.
    Muslims decapitating men in the street for being soldiers
    Muslims suicide bombing buses and trains because they choose to.
    Muslims mudering cartoonists for taking the piss out of a ‘prophet’
    Muslims trying to murder a man for writing a novel
    Muslims knifing a man in the street for making a film
    Muslims flying planes into tall buildings
    Muslims bombing a marathon race because ??? why the fuck … no idea.
    Fundamentalist Xtians denying dying children medical intervention
    Fundamentalist Xtains for mudering gynacologists for doing legal abortions

    and so on … and so on …and so on … and so on …

    All religions make me sick …

  4. AgentCormac says:

    Strange how cheerleaders for religion constantly like to claim that their faith is all about love and peace, yet time and again reality shows that it is actually about the complete antithesis.

  5. Head Teacher says:

    Just like
    Muslims who stab and set fire to to people

    Read the link and weep. maybe it is time to bale out of the EEC so that we can stop this nonsense.

  6. L.Long says:

    So long as their book o’BS contain parts that claim that stoning, killing, hate, bigotry are all OK with gawd, the evil will continue as GOOD in their religions, and it does NOT matter what so called moderates claim. No one does evil as good as dogma!

  7. Angela_K says:

    Christian, Home-schooled, Church: All flag up as dangerous.

  8. Barry Duke says:

    I have added an update this post:

  9. Dear Bob says:

    See what happens when you keep god out of church? Oh, wait; nevermind.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter (well – according to the Bible, anyway), apparently as a lesson not to make rash promises. Christians try to get out of this by saying that there’s the possibility that she just had to live out her life in isolation like a nun, but that’s not what the book of Judges says!

  11. Trevor Blake says:

    You read about those angry atheists and their child beating / child raping ways every day it seems. They have no moral compass.

    Correction: you never read of this among atheists (angry or otherwise). Only the religious. And every day.

  12. AgentCormac says:

    OT but it seems that Frankie has today apologised for recent ‘scandals’ in the Vatican. But is he apologising for the abuse being perpetrated by members of his staff on children and vulnerable young men around the world? No. Apparently he’s referring to the gay priest who came out the other week. Quite frankly, if he thinks that’s a scandal he should read some of the articles here on the FT instead of having his blinkered head stuck firmly up his own arse.

  13. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Thanks. The following is the guy I had in mind from my long gone Sunday School days. The story was always told as actions to be admired. No hint of the cruelty of a man being told to sacrifice his sons. The Nazis performed similar atrocities with relatives in the Death Camps.

    “God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice[Gen 22:2-8]. After Isaac is bound to an altar, the angel of God stops Abraham at the last minute, saying “now I know you fear God.” At this point, Abraham sees a ram caught in some nearby bushes and sacrifices the ram instead of Isaac.”

  14. Head Teacher says:

    Sorry OT – NEWS – Papal Apology
    But whats the fucking point of an apology if the subject of the apology is not specified. Yet another case of evasive euphemistic cowardly catholic weaselling. Shameful.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Yes- I wasn’t contradicting you, actually; what I meant was that Abraham was TOLD to sacrfice his son, but that Jephthah actually DID sacrifice his daughter. He promised to offer to YHWH as a burnt offering the first thing that he met after his victory, and to his horror his daughter ran to greet him. Of course, any normal person would have said :”I meant an animal”, but not in the Bible. And of course, all these stories are on a par with Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel, and not meant to be taken seriously but just to frighten the kids!

  16. dennis says:

    deluded, Bruce and Deborah Leonard and their confederates at the church and the father of Yara, just deluded.

  17. Atabale says:

    There are about 20 000 Secular homeschooling families in the world.

  18. Angela_K says:

    @Atabale. Citation needed.

  19. Cali Ron says:

    Barriejohn: Religion can be used to justify any act, no matter how heinous. Even infanticide.

  20. barriejohn says:

    Angela: I think the figure was plucked from thin air, but in any case, what was the point supposed to be?

  21. Cali Ron says:

    In the article it states that the children were homeschooled, but it didn’t seem relevant to the topic and they were not secular. Strange, but not as strange as the Leonard’s.

  22. 1859 says:

    One young man is beaten to death and another is critically wounded by their OWN parents! Doesn’t this show how morbidly threatening religious delusions can be when they can so easily override the natural bonds of love and loyalty to ones own children. Religion is truly a mental illness. Thank god I told god to fuck off when I was 10.

  23. Lucy1 says:

    Secular or not, home schooling can be a problem, where families withdraw and only the family’s views and opinions are heard. If those views and opinions are extreme, they can get more and more extreme. The children have no way out. This is true whether or not the motive was religious. Non religious motivation can include ‘protecting’ the child from a dangerous world, hothousing a ‘gifted’ child, meeting the ‘unique’ needs of a child with learning problems, creating a ‘perfect’ family.

    I have had a lot of experience of home schooling, as a professional not a practitioner, and I have only once thought it to be in the child’s best interest. In that case it was planned to be temporary, and as part of the child’s recovery from emotional illness.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Lucy: I agree. Education is about much more than the acquisition of factual knowledge, and the horrors of ACE are well documented. Of course, in some parts of the world home schooling is essential, but, as you say, when parents feel that their child needs” protection” from outside influences, alarm bells should ring!

    The subject is covered in some depth here:

  25. Broga says:

    @Lucy1: Interesting comments. I have heard of one home schooling mother from a relative in the USA. This woman is a devout RC with three children. She is home schooling to avoid the effects on her children of opinions in school. I don’t see how a mother can cover the range of subjects and provide an adequate education.

    I have also heard of a group of mothers in Brighton where my grandchildren live. These mothers, including former teachers, share the teaching of a group of children and use their specialist knowledge of teaching and specific subjects. I think the Education Department has to approve and check them. None of my family are involved.

  26. barriejohn says:

    Incidentally, it has been well observed that in life we never stand still, but either progress or go backwards, and I am appalled to see that that woman Nicky Morgan is going to approve Britain’s first new grammar school in 50 years. No doubt to be accompanied by vocational training in chimney sweeping and laundering for those who fail to make the grade!

  27. Stephen Mynett says:

    Unless there is no alternative or a very good reason for doing it home-schooling should never be allowed. Because of my disability I was taught at home during the primary years, luckily I had an excellent state-supplied teacher, who concentrated on useful things like maths, grammar etc and when I eventually went to a secondary school was well equipped educationally. The downside was that it was a real culture shock to suddenly be involved in a large group of people and it took a lot of getting used to and was, at times, difficult and sometimes quite unpleasant. I dread to think how children who have been imprisoned at home for their entire early life can cope.

  28. Angela_K says:

    Barriejohn. I’m undecided about Grammar schools. I went to one of the first comprehensives in the 60’s [still had the ghastly religious assembly though] that wasn’t very good and left to do my A levels at a Technical College so I had a better chance of grades subtable for University. Labour banned Grammar schools and then allowed the creation of religious schools that use nefarious methods of selection to ensure they only get “good” pupils, usually from middle class parents.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Angela: It is dangerous to argue from the specific to the general. I attended two grammar schools – one a very “posh” state-aided school (boaters in the summer), now private – and you’d have had to search very hard to find a real teacher in either. We had lectures rather than lessons, and those who did well did so because they basically taught themselves. Failing pupils were invariably dealt with by expulsion! However, I am willing to accept that present-day grammars might be completely different to that. However, the fact that there have been appalling comprehensives doesn’t invalidate the system, which is excellent. I taught in a large comprehensive in north Wiltshire which was an absolutely marvellous school, and I knew of others like it. I also taught in secondary moderns, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that Charles Dickens would have had a field day, as “sink schools” doesn’t even come near to describing them!

  30. […] Leonard, 19, the NY man who was beaten to death at the Word of Life Church, was being subjected to a ‘family counseling session’ along with his younger brother, […]