Teen beaten to death at church counseling session; pastor pleads guilty

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UTICA, N.Y. — The pastor of a New York church where two brothers were beaten for hours during what authorities called a counseling session has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault.

Three other members of Word of Life Christian Church admitted to less serious charges Friday for their roles in the beatings that killed 19-year-old Lucas Leonard and injured his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, in New Hartford last October, according to Global News.

Pastor Tiffanie Irwin, her brother, Joseph Irwin, and mother-and-son church members Linda and David Morey are the last of nine people charged to be convicted in the attack that investigators say took place after the brothers discussed leaving the congregation. Joseph Irwin and the Moreys pleaded guilty to assault.

The victims’ parents and half-sister and other members of the Irwin family were among those charged.

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