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Jeff and Marci Beagley Gave Sick Son Prayer Instead of Medicine, Jury Gives Them Guilty Verdict

(AP Photo, file)
(Family Photo)
(Family Photo)
OREGON CITY, Ore. (CBS/AP) Oregon couple Jeff and Marci Beagley testified they did everything they could for their 16-year-old son before he died, but a jury decided that anointing oils and prayer were not enough.

Photo: Jeff and Marci Beagley.

The couple, who practices faith healing, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide on Tuesday after prosecutors argued they failed in their duty to get medical help for their son, Neil, in June 2008.

Neil Beagley died of complications from a congenital urinary tract blockage. Doctors testified the he could have been treated up until the day he died.

Photo: Neil Beagley.

His death came just months after the death of their granddaughter, Ava Worthington, who died under similar circumstances.

The 15-month-old passed away March 2008 of pneumonia and a blood infection. Like Neil, she was given oils and prayer instead of medicine.

The toddler's parents, Raylene and Carl Worthington, were acquitted of manslaughter last year. The trial tested a change in Oregon law in 1999 resulting from a public outcry over a series of child deaths among members of the Followers of Christ Church.

Photo: Ava Worthington.

Members of the church, including the Beagleys, are known to avoid doctors in favor of faith healing.

The Beagleys could face 16 to 18 months in prison under state sentencing guidelines, although defense attorneys plan to ask for probation. They remain free pending their sentencing on Feb. 18.

  • Edecio Martinez

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