Parents beat son to death in church’s “sanctuary room”

Bruce Leonard, 65, and Deborah Leonard, 59, have been charged with manslaughter following the death of 19-year-old son Lucas, Daily Mirror reports.

Four of the couple’s fellow church members were also charged with assaulting the teenager’s younger brother, Christopher, on Sunday at the Word of Life Church in Chadwicks, New York.

The Hartford Chief of Police, Michael Inserra, said:

“Both brothers were continually subjected to physical punishment over the course of several hours in the hopes that each would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness.”

He added:

“Lucas died on Monday 12th of October, after being driven to a hospital by family members, who falsely told doctors the teenager had suffered a gunshot wound.

Leonard’s injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma to his torso and extremities.”

Through interviews with church members, police said they learned that his younger brother, 17-year-old Christopher had also been severely beaten during the counseling session.

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