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Faith-Healing Ore. Couple Released from Prison

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of a controversial Oregon City church that rejects medical treatment were released from prison Wednesday (March 30) after serving time in the faith-healing death of their teenage son.

Jeffrey and Marci Beagley were convicted on a charge of criminally negligent homicide last year and sentenced to 16 months in prison. The Beagleys failed to provide medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil, who died in 2008 of complications from an untreated urinary blockage.

Their sentences, served at two separate facilities, were reduced by 98 days for good behavior. The Beagleys’ sentence calls for three years of post-prison supervision.

The Beagleys are members of the Followers of Christ church, an insular church where dozens of the Followers’ children have died of treatable conditions since the 1950s, and a few mothers died in childbirth.


The Beagleys’ son-in-law, Carl Worthington, served 60 days in jail in 2009 for criminal mistreatment in the death of his 15-month-old daughter, Ava, who died of a blood infection. His wife and the Beagleys’ daughter, Raylene Worthington, was cleared on all counts.

– STEVE MAYES, Religion News Service

(Steve Mayes writes for The Oregonian in Portland, Ore.)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Does that supervision mean that they can keep an eye on the unfortunate children the couple still has? I can’t remember if the had other children besides the one they allowed to die.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Heretic_for_Christ

    I have sympathy for those who suffered and died needlessly to suit the demented whims of religious fanatics — but none for the fanatics themselves. They deserved every day of their prison sentences. There is no way to stamp out fanaticism, but rational Christians should make it absolutely clear that fanaticism is not fervent faith but maniacal obsession that does no honor whatsoever to God.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    When this supposedly intelligent society we live in in America will finally realize the difference between normal and extreme beliefs and pass laws to protect women, and fetuses, and children from the extremist beliefs, then innocent humans won’t have to die because of the extremists that hold their lives in their hands.

    What is so disgusting to all we parents who have struggled so hard to save our children from the ravages of cancer, is that these two children mentioned in the articles above had physical problems that could have been solved in a couple of days, and the poor children were scarificed by these extremist parents.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    98 days in prison for murder. That’s pretty outrageous.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The parents of the 16 yr. old boy who died were given 16 months in jail nnmns. If you give 30 days for ea. mo. it would have been 480 days served, but they were given good time, and they got out 98 days ahead of time. So they served 382 days of their sentence. It was still more than their son-in-law who let his daughter die, he received 60 days in jail. Makes no sense, some parents have been given life for an accidental death of a child. Two black sisters in FL were sent to prison for life for an unproven snatch of $ll.00. Have you watched this in the news? One has to have a kidney transplant and her sister will give her hers. They allowed them to be released but on parole for this. Forgot, they have already served 16 yrs. for their “supposed” crime.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    My error. Thanks Henrietta. And as you say, those sentences given and served for these crimes of omission are horribly light compared especially to some that are outrageously harsh.

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