Prosecutors say he helped beat his two teens savagely as part of a cult ritual, one of whom was beaten to death. Now, he could be making a deal. The father of two teens beaten inside an upstate New York church has been offered a plea deal in his second-degree murder and assault case.
Sixty-five-year-old Bruce Leonard appeared briefly Tuesday in court, where the judge informed him that attorney David Longeretta will be representing him.
Leonard, his wife, Deborah, and six other members of the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford were charged in October in the fatal beating of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard and the beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher. Prosecutors say Lucas had indicated he wanted to leave the church.
Deborah Leonard pleaded guilty to assault.
Bruce Leonard is due back in court Jan. 19 to accept or decline the plea offer from prosecutors. Details of the offer haven’t been released.
Calls to Longeretta’s office went unanswered Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
I feel that ANY person that willfully murders another person should be given the DEATH PENALTY. Especially the one that MURDERS their OWN CHILD!!!!!! Bring us back the days of “THE OLD WEST”!!!!! Find the TALLEST OAK TREE and “HANG EM HIGH!!!!!!!
he had to think about this or he should have, before he bet and killed one son, and severely hurt another son. If the mother accepts responsibility, then he should, too. How can you beat a son or daughter so severely that they die and want others to think you are not guilty??
The “Word of Life Christian Church” is proof positive that these people fail to understand the meaning of the name of their own institution. Any organization that has within its’ tenants the disrespect for life this group has shown, should lose any tax exempt status it might enjoy. Use of the word “church” in its’ title doesn’t make it one.