Oregon City couple are charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of their daughter
An Oregon City couple whose 15-month-old daughter died this month of medically treatable conditions surrendered to police Friday night hours after a Clackamas County grand jury indicted them.
They are at the heart of a case testing a state law that bars faith healing when it could endanger a child's life.
Based on the jury's findings, arrest warrants were issued for Carl Brent Worthington, 28, and Raylene Worthington, 25, on charges of second-degree manslaughter and second-degree criminal mistreatment in the March 2 death of their daughter, Ava.
At 8:30 p.m., the pair voluntarily surrendered at the Clackamas County Jail, said Detective Jim Strovink, a sheriff's office spokesman. They were held on $250,000 bail each.
Television reporters soon descended on the jail's entrance, reacting to a tip that the husband and wife would post the $25,000 apiece needed to avoid spending the weekend in jail.
Their first court appearance was set for 1:30 p.m. Monday in Clackamas County Circuit Court.
A deputy state medical examiner determined that Ava died for lack of medical care. The girl suffered from bacterial bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection -- both treatable or preventable with antibiotics.
The parents are members of Oregon City's Followers of Christ, a fundamentalist Christian church that has seen dozens of children buried since the 1950s in the parish cemetery south of Oregon City. Many of them could have been saved by medical intervention, according to a 1998 analysis by The Oregonian.
The cluster of deaths prompted the 1999 Oregon Legislature to debate the issues of religious freedom, parental rights and public responsibility to protect children, culminating in the law allowing prosecution in preventable deaths.
The Worthingtons are the first congregation members to face criminal charges for failing to seek medical treatment for a gravely ill child.
Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.
Archived News & OP EDs
- ► 2009 (46)
- Website pulls anti-Islam film after threats
- Parents indicted in faith-healing case
- Parents attribute daughter's death to lack of fait...
- Pastor charged with forgery
- Youth pastor faces charges for sex with underage g...
- Pastor charged with attempted sex assault
- They prayed to cast Satan from my body
- Poll finds growing number of believers eschew chur...
- Grassley, Baucus Urge Four Ministries to Cooperate...
- Pastor found guilty on 54 counts
- Pastor charged with rape
- God and politics in Lynchburg Tennessee
- Adventures of some "True™" Christians in Russia
- Pastor charged in Web chat with teen
- Pastor charged with soliciting sex
- Creationists 'peddle lies about fossil record'
- Was Moses high on Mount Sinai?
- Pastor Faces Statutory Sodomy Charges
- Survey shows non-religious outnumber those of ever...
- Misinformed about evolution theory
- Pastor sentenced for sex abuse
- ▼ March (21)
- ► 2007 (206)
- ► 2006 (169)
- ► 2005 (106)