Members of Word of Life are lawyered up after the Oct. 12, 2015 church beating death of teen Lucas Leonard, 19. The boy died at the New Hartford, New York house of worship, reported Utica OD on Feb. 19. Allegedly, dad Bruce Leonard, mom Deborah Leonard and other Word of Life church members “spiritually corrected” Lucas Leonard by slugging and kicking him for 14 hours when he tried to leave Word of Life. Now the lawyer for Bruce Leonard has filed motions to hush evidence in the Lucas Leonard church beating death. A brother Christopher Leonard suffered a near-fatal beating at the same time over the same situation.
Sources have said the Word of Life church beatings only stopped when church members realized one was dead. Christopher Leonard only escaped a church beating death because his brother died. The church team called for help but then refused to take Lucas Leonard to the hospital. In the fracas, a bruised and beaten Christopher Leonard hid out in an upper room. Deborah Leonard and Bruce Leonard essentially left their son to die, refusing medical treatment after “spiritual correction” left numerous injuries on the 17-year-old.
But David Longeretta, Leonard’s lawyer wants all evidence from the night of the church beating death suppressed saying police violated his client’s Miranda Rights. Longeretta says after Bruce Leonard was taken into custody, he was interrogated despite communicating that he did not want to talk to officers. Despite exercising his right to remain silent, police interrogated the Bruce Leonard till 3 am. Leonard says he’d been up for 44 hours, he wrote in his affidavit–14 of those hours spent spiritually correcting his sons.
Bruce Leonard is one of nine people accused of various acts in the “spiritual counseling session” at Word of Life church that ended in the beating death of Lucas Leonard and left Christopher Leonard seriously injured seriously. Of the nine defendants, only one has accepted a plea bargain. The other eight closed ranks and rejected their offers. Other Word of Life members are lawyered up after the church beatings, too. Residents of New Hartford demanded that the Christian church be closed after the horrific beatings. New Hartford issued a letter stating that Word of Life is a public nuisance, under the Nuisance Abatement law and wants to know what members plan to do.
Church attorney Norman Deep, says members will continue to worship at Word of Life church. Deep says the church and other members weren’t involved in the “unfortunate circumstances” and are “not in a position to abate anything” and so will change nothing and go forward with the federal lawsuit. Deep said New Hartford’s closure of Word of Life around the holy season of Christmas, preventing worship, was unlawful. He plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against New Hartford soon. Deep plans to seek monetary damages on behalf of members. So Word of Life could actually profit from the church beating death of Lucas Leonard.