Thursday, October 20, 2016

UPDATED::Father accused in Word of Life case pleads guilty to assault, will testify against others | WSTM

UPDATE::  Four defendants in Word of Life case fail to reach plea deal; judge sets one week deadline before new trial date set
The four remaining defendants in the Word of Life Church murder trial will have one more chance to accept a plea deal when they return to court next Friday, according to County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer.

Otherwise, a new trial date will be set, the judge stated this morning.

Pastor Tiffanie Irwin, Joseph Irwin, Linda Morey and David Morey all made a surprise appearance in court this morning to possibly accept plea offers, but Dwyer said no agreements had been reached.

Dwyer said that all four defendants must accept the offer together or none at all.

He did not disclose the details of the offer.

Dwyer told them that if they did not reach a deal by next Friday then he would set a new trial date for all four of them.

Two other defendants, Traci Irwin and David Irwin, each accepted a plea deal of one year in county jail last Friday for pleading guilty to unlawful imprisonment.
The father accused of taking part in a beating at the Word of Life Church that left one of his sons dead and another injured has pleaded guilty to lesser charges and will not stand trial.

Bruce Leonard pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree and second-degree assault Wednesday morning, after appearing in Oneida County Court to consider a plea offer for the charges he faced in the death of his son Lucas Leonard and beating of his other son Christopher last fall. The plea was accepted by Judge Michael Dwyer.

The two charges carry a sentence of 15-16 years in state prison, which will be served concurrently according to Judge Dwyer. Leonard will also be required to state his role in the beatings and testify against the other defendants in the Word of Life case.

Father accused in Word of Life case pleads guilty to assault, will testify against others | WSTM

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