OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of a controversial Oregon City church that rejects medical treatment were released from prison Wednesday (March 30) after serving time in the faith-healing death of their teenage son.
Jeffrey and Marci Beagley were convicted on a charge of criminally negligent homicide last year and sentenced to 16 months in prison. The Beagleys failed to provide medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil, who died in 2008 of complications from an untreated urinary blockage.
Their sentences, served at two separate facilities, were reduced by 98 days for good behavior. The Beagleys’ sentence calls for three years of post-prison supervision.
The Beagleys are members of the Followers of Christ church, an insular church where dozens of the Followers’ children have died of treatable conditions since the 1950s, and a few mothers died in childbirth.
The Beagleys’ son-in-law, Carl Worthington, served 60 days in jail in 2009 for criminal mistreatment in the death of his 15-month-old daughter, Ava, who died of a blood infection. His wife and the Beagleys’ daughter, Raylene Worthington, was cleared on all counts.
(Steve Mayes writes for The Oregonian in Portland, Ore.)