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Fatal NY church beating: woman jailed for 25 years

Fatal NY church beating: woman jailed for 25 years

Sarah Ferguson, 33, above, who was found guilty of manslaughter in July following the death of her half-brother at the Word of Life Christian Church in New York, was sentenced this week to 25 years’ imprisonment.

According to this report, Judge Michael Dwyer – presiding over the trial in Oneida County court – found Ferguson guilty of first-degree manslaughter of her half-brother, Lucas Leonard, 19, but cleared her on the second-degree murder charge.

She also was found guilty by the judge of two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of gang assault on Lucas Leonard and her other half-brother, 17-year-old Christopher Leonard, who was injured in the attack.

The brothers’ parents, who both participated in the beatings, both accepted plea deals and will get shorter sentences. Bruce Leonard will get 15 to 16 years in prison. His wife, Deborah Leonard will get no more than five years in prison.

Ferguson sobbed audibly as she tried to make a statement.

“I truly am sorry … oh my God,” she said as she cried out. She then said she truly loved her brothers.

Lucas Leonard, left, and his surviving brother Christopher, who was severely injured.

Lucas Leonard, left, and his surviving brother Christopher, who was severely injured.

Ferguson admitted during her trial to taking part in the beating that killed Lucas and severely injured Christopher, pictured above.

Dwyer said that Ferguson took it upon herself to be “judge, jury and executioner” on her brothers and the bottom line is that she killed her brother.

It’s inconceivable to me that during this whole incident no one was the voice of reason. No said tried to stop this. No one said enough is enough.

District attorney, Scott McNamara, said Ferguson should receive the same mercy her brothers got and pointed out that she flogged her two brothers in the genital area to cause as much pain as she could.

This is the most malicious, callous and brutal beating I have ever seen.

It was alleged by the family that the two victims had been punished for sexually assaulting Ferguson’s children.

Nine defendants from the church were charged with beating the two young men for hours on October 11, 2015 in the New Hartford church as part of a “counseling session”. Lucas Leonard wasn’t taken to the hospital until the next day; a doctor testified he could have lived if treated sooner.

Deborah Leonard and Bruce Leonard both described in court how they and Ferguson beat and whipped Lucas and Christopher Leonard with an electrical cord. Ferguson admitted that she also whipped the two young men.

Bruce Leonard testified that his sons were whipped to punish them and get them to confess to accusations that they molested Sarah’s children and another teen.

During the trial, Christopher Leonard testified that he “inappropriately” touched Ferguson’s children, but did not rape or sexually abuse anyone.

Ferguson testified that the brothers confessed to raping one of her children and abusing other children. The prosecution questioned whether Ferguson was telling the truth about the abuse.

The remaining defendants are scheduled to go on trial in October.

7 responses to “Fatal NY church beating: woman jailed for 25 years”

  1. TrickyDicky says:

    What a fucked up family.

  2. Broga says:

    “The Word of life Christian Church” – another great title for a bunch of sadists.

  3. L.Long says:

    So what if it was their dimwitted church!! They KILLED a person for no good reason…and only self defense is a good reason….so they are guilty of MURDER!!! Once again the magic word RELIGION gets them off light!!!!

  4. lucy1 says:

    @L.Long
    It does my head in, too. I think religion should not be allowed to be mentioned. Motivation is not relevant to murder or indeed other crimes. If the evidence is clear that you did do it, why you did it is neither here nor there.

  5. Rob Andrews says:

    Accused child molesters or not…That’s no excuse. I’ve also had problems with Xtians who can get real angry and quickly.

    I guess it must be the rightious a anger of the lord, that motivates all of them! Like the cruxaids

    “Christiany is a religion of peace, but it doesn’t work well in practice”–Gandhi

  6. AgentCormac says:

    I don’t know about ‘enough is enough’, it seems to me that no amount of torture and cruelty like this can ever be seen as acceptable or condonable. As we observe only too often in religions like islam and judaism, supertitious belief gives some people the green light to try and dominate others. It feeds their desire to subjugate. And when that gets out of control then anything can happen. So lock these sick bastards up, throw away the key and put the blame squarely at the feet of their faith. But we all know that won’t happen.

  7. Laura Roberts says:

    “It’s inconceivable to me that during this whole incident no one was the voice of reason.”

    Reason?? He does realise we’re talking about a church,right?