Tags: bruce | deborah leonard | sentenced | beating | sons

Bruce and Deborah Leonard Sentenced to Prison for Sons' Beating

Image: Bruce and Deborah Leonard Sentenced to Prison for Sons' Beating

Bruce Leornard, left, and Deborah Leonard, center, enter the courtroom of before their arraignment, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. (Mark DiOrio/Observer-Dispatch via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017 03:23 PM

Bruce and Deborah Leonard, who participated in a beating of their two sons by church members that killed one son and severely injured another, have been sentenced to time in prison for their actions.

The Leonards and other church members beat the teens during a counseling session after they were accused of molesting the children of several church members and said to leaders that they wanted to leave the church, which some former members have said was a cult, according to People magazine.

The beatings took place inside the Word of Life Christian Church in Chadwicks, about six miles from Utica, New York. The teens were kicked, punched, and whipped with electrical cords for about 12 hours, with some breaks, People reported.

The church’s pastor, Tiffanie Irwin, and numerous other church members pleaded guilty to various charges and were also sentenced to terms ranging from two to 12 years. The teens’ half-sister declined a plea deal in July and was convicted of manslaughter and assault and sentenced to 25 years in prison, People reported.

Bruce Leonard got 10 years in prison, while his wife got five years. Bruce testified that the beatings took place to discipline and punish the teens and so that they would “understand the hurt they caused,” People reported.

Bruce Leonard’s sentence was reduced from 16 years after several people spoke on his behalf and he told the judge he had changed. Bruce’s brother-in-law called him a “follower” and said that he waited for someone else to stop the beatings, the Utica Observer Dispatch reported.

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Bruce and Deborah Leonard, who participated in a beating of their two sons by church members that killed one son and severely injured another, have been sentenced to time in prison for their actions.
bruce, deborah leonard, sentenced, beating, sons
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2017-23-08
Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017 03:23 PM
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