NY pastor gets 12 years in prison for teen’s death

Word of Life church
Police knock on the door of the Word of Life church while serving paperwork on a church member, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) – The 30-year-old pastor of a central New York church where one teenager was killed and his younger brother badly beaten during a church counseling session overseen by the pastor has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Word of Life Christian Church pastor Tiffanie Irwin was sentenced Monday in Oneida County Court after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors in October. Her 23-year-old brother, Joseph, also was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for his role in the fatal beating last year of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard.

Tiffanie Irwin pleaded guilty to third-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault, while her brother pleaded guilty to two counts of assault.

Two other church members, David and Linda Morey, have pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault and will be sentenced in January.

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