Pastor Tiffany Irwin Charged With Lucas Leonard's Murder At NY Secret Sect

Lucas Leonard, 19, was beaten to death inside a upstate New York church 

  • His brother, Christopher, 17, suffered serious injuries during the attack

  • Seven members of the church have been charged with the murder of Lucas

  • They include his father 

    Bruce Leonard and church Pastor Tiffany Irwin 

  • By Hannah Parry > and Louise Boyle For Dailymail.com

    Published: 22:19 EDT, 24 November 2015 | Updated: 23:11 EDT, 24 November 2015

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    The pastor of a secretive New York 'cult' where a young man was beaten to death and his younger brother seriously injured is among seven people now charged with his murder.

    Lucas Leonard was murdered by a mob of congregants - which included his own parents and half-sister - during a 'counseling session' at the Word of Life Church in New Hartford, New York

    The 19-year-old was beaten for 11 hours in the sanctuary on October 11 in an attack allegedly organized by the leader, Pastor Tiffany Irwin, after he said he wanted to leave the church. His younger brother Christopher, 17, was also savagely beaten for hours but survived the assault.

    Pastor Tiffanie Irwin and her mother Traci Irwin, who originally were not charged in the incident, now face charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault.

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    Pastor Tiffanie Irwin (pictured at her indictment hearing on November 24) now faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault

    Pastor Tiffanie Irwin (pictured at her indictment hearing on Tuesday) now faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault

    Irwin's mother Traci (pictured at the indictment) who also faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault

    Irwin's mother Traci (pictured at the indictment) who also faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault

    Lucas Leonard, 19, who was allegedly beaten to death by his parents. He died after an 11-hour 'family counselling session' which Christopher Leonard, 17, was allegedly beaten in the counselling session and hospitalized. He testified as his parents appeared in court

    Brothers Lucas Leonard, 19 (left) and Christopher, 17 (right), who were members of the Word of Life Christian Church. Lucas was beaten to death, allegedly by his parents, while Christopher was hospitalized

    Leonard's father Bruce, 65, and his half-sister Sarah Ferguson, 33, have also been charged with murder and assault. His mother Deborah, 59, will appear in Oneida County Court on separate charges of first-degree and second-degree assault, according to her lawyer Devin Garramone.

    Fellow congregants David Morey, 26, Linda Morey, 54, and Joseph Irwin, 26, face the same charges while church deacon Daniel Irwin, 24, was indicted on charges of second-degree manslaughter, kidnapping and gang assault. 

    At a hearing last month, Christopher Leonard testified that Tiffanie Irwin asked the Leonard family and some others to stay behind for a meeting after an eight-hour Sunday service. 

    Over what he estimated was six or more hours, the teen said he was pummeled with fists and whipped with a 4-foot, folded electrical cord on the back and elsewhere, suffering injuries to his torso and genitals.

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