A New York state man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to taking part in a mass church beating that killed one of his teenage sons and injured another, a court spokeswoman said.
Bruce Leonard, 66, pleaded guilty in Utica County Court to first- and second-degree assault in the October 2015 attack in which his sons were pummeled for more than 10 hours with fists and whipped with an extension cord.
As part of the plea agreement, Leonard will testify against the seven other people accused in the case, the spokeswoman said. He will be sentenced on Sept. 9.
Leonard had been charged with murder, gang assault and kidnapping in the attack that killed Lucas Leonard, 19, and put another son, Christopher Leonard, 17, in the hospital.
The attack took place during a counseling session at the Word of Life Church in Chadwicks, a small town about 100 miles (160 km) west of Albany. Christopher Leonard said in a court hearing last year that he and his brother were assaulted because Lucas intended to leave the church.
The youths’ mother, Deborah Leonard, pleaded guilty in December to assault charges in exchange for her testimony against the other defendants, including church pastor Tiffanie Irwin.
The trial of Sarah Ferguson, a half-sister of the victims who is accused of second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges, will begin on Thursday, the spokeswoman said.
(Writing by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler)
He was supposed to be in prison less than a year. Instead, he died after catching the coronavirus.
At least 84 Texas state prisoners have died after contracting the coronavirus, including men who were serving short sentences or set to soon go home. As the death count rose, advocates unsuccessfully called on the governor and parole board for early release.
James Allen Smith was only supposed to be at a Texas prison for a matter of months, sentenced to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after he pled guilty to a repeat DWI offense in January.
But in May, while in a Huntsville prison where Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials halted almost all movement as inmates and employees fell ill with the new coronavirus, the 73-year-old retired teacher from Bastrop also contracted the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Instead of coming home to his family after completing a short program, Smith died in prison custody on June 11.
Trump’s obsession with wrecking Obamacare is pushing him into a political buzzsaw: report
President Donald Trump's administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act at a time when the United States is suffering from a deadly pandemic.
An Axios analysis written by Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation argues that Trump's insistence on demolishing all of Obamacare puts him at odds not just with Democratic and independent voters, but also a majority of Republican voters.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urges Texas GOP to cancel its convention
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner encouraged the Republican Party of Texas on Monday to cancel its in-person convention in Houston next week and warned that should the event continue, health inspectors would have the authority to shut down the gathering if certain guidelines are not followed.
Turner said that he planned to send a letter to members of the State Republican Executive Committee, the state party’s governing board, outlining conditions the party must follow in order to hold the convention.