Plea deals offered in church beating case

Posted at 7:50 AM, Dec 08, 2015

Seven people charged with taking part in a violent church counseling session that left one man dead and his younger brother hospitalized are considering plea offers from prosecutors.

The members of Word of Life Christian Church in central New York appeared in Oneida County Court Monday. They're charged with varying degrees of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping and assault in the October beatings of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard and 17-year-old Christopher Leonard.

The Observer-Dispatch of Utica reports that details of the plea offers weren't disclosed. The defendants have until mid-January to accept or decline them.

The teens' mother, Deborah Leonard, pleaded guilty last week to assault. Her husband, Bruce Leonard, also is charged and is due in court Wednesday.




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