Lawyer: Mom too modest to stop deadly violence of son in church

By CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (AP) — A lady charged with violence her teenage son to genocide inside a church felt infirm to stop an involvement that spiraled into aroused punishment by others, her counsel pronounced Thursday.

As a confront incited violent, Deborah Leonard didn’t have a romantic strength to conflict others in a church where she’d worshipped for 30 years, profession Devin Garramone said.

“It looks like she went along with it, and it spun out of control,” he said. “This lady is so modest and timid, she didn’t have a benevolence to mount adult to them and say, ‘You’re not punishing my kid. You’re not doing this.'”

Leonard stands charged with killing in a genocide of her 19-year-old son, Lucas, though Garramone pronounced he believed other people caused a deadly injuries. Six people have been arrested in a beatings of Lucas and his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, who were pummeled with fists and kicked during a Word of Life church in New Hartford during what military news as a devout conversing event to titillate them to confess sins and find forgiveness.

Garramone and military contend they aren’t certain because a boys were being punished. But whatever a reason, a brothers are victims, Police Chief Michael Inserra stressed.

“We wish to know because this happened, how this event got so out of control that it cost a life of a immature man,” he pronounced in an talk Thursday. “I consider once we do, it will put a encampment during ease.”

The small, close-knit church also served as home to some of a members. The parishioners so resolutely kept to themselves that when a glow pennyless out a few years ago, they extinguished it themselves and didn’t wish to let firefighters in, Inserra said.

And after Lucas Leonard was taken to a sanatorium Monday and military came to think his younger hermit had also been hurt, their kin wouldn’t tell officers where Christopher Leonard was, a arch said.

Only after acid for hours and contacting a former church member did military conduct to locate him in a room on a second floor, Inserra said. The teen emerged after vocalization to military by phone.

“The membership of this church, they’re clinging to a church” and to devout personality Traci Irwin and priest Tiffanie Irwin, Inserra said. “And they, a lot of times, wait to be told what to do.”

The devout personality and pastor, who are mom and daughter, respectively, have not been charged.

The brothers suffered injuries to a abdomen, genitals, behind and thighs during an hourslong attack, authorities said. Deborah Leonard “had no thought how distant it would be taken,” her counsel said.

She and her father — a boys’ father, Bruce Leonard — have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. Four other people, including a victims’ 33-year-old sister, Sarah Ferguson, have pleaded not guilty to assault. Lawyers for a father and a sister haven’t commented.

The congregation’s privacy had prolonged sparked guess in a farming area about 50 miles from Syracuse, and Inserra pronounced church members spasmodic complained to military about nuisance by internal youths. But overall, a church was a still presence, he said.

Housed in a former propagandize building, a roughly 30-year-old church had maybe 40 or some-more members during a rise though now depends closer to 20, Inserra said.

Tara Litz, who used to live nearby, remembers being undetermined by a members’ ostensible privacy and chanting in a night. But they would also offer her bread, cakes and invitations to join in church activities, she said.

“They were always really kind to me,” she said.

In circuitously Clayville, a encampment of 350 people where a Leonards live, neighbors removed a rarely eremite family that kept mostly to itself.


Associated Press author John Kekis and video publisher Ted Shaffrey in New Hartford, and AP author Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This element might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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