Faith-healing couple cleared of manslaughter

By Associated Press
July 24, 2009

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OREGON CITY, Ore. - An Oregon couple who relied on prayer instead of medical care were acquitted of manslaughter yesterday in the death of their 15-month-old daughter.

The jury convicted the father, Carl Brent Worthington, of criminal mistreatment, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of a year in jail. The mother, Raylene Worthington, was acquitted in their daughter Ava’s 2008 death.

Both had faced manslaughter charges, which could have carried a sentence of up to six years in prison.

The prosecution said Ava Worthington failed to flourish through most of her life because of a cyst on her neck that impeded her breathing and eating, contributing to her fatal pneumonia. She died after family and church members prayed over her and anointed her with olive oil.