New York pastor, 5 others in court in fatal church beating

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — A pastor and five other leaders of a secretive New York church are due in court in connection with the beating of two brothers, one of whom died.

Pastor Tiffanie Irwin and five others are scheduled to appear in Oneida County Court on Friday.

All have pleaded not guilty to varying counts of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping and assault.

They’re among nine people charged following the death of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard at Word of Life Christian Church last October. Leonard’s 17-year-old brother was seriously injured in what authorities described as a counseling session.

The boy’s parents have pleaded guilty to assault. Their half-sister was convicted of manslaughter.

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