After a week of deliberation, the jury in the trial of Carl Brent and Raylene Worthington returned with a verdict shortly before 2 pm today. In what some people might consider a surprising turn, Carl and Raylene received different verdicts. Neither was found guilty of manslaughter, but the jury found Carl Brent Worthington guilty of criminal mistreatment in the second degree. Raylene was found not guilty of manslaughter and criminal mistreatment.
The Worthingtons were on trial for the death of their 15-month-old daughter, Ava. She died in March 2008 from bacterial pneumonia and a blood infection. They testified that they didn’t think she was gravely ill. They say they did what they believed was best by praying, instead of seeking medical attention, for their daughter. The Worthingtons are members of Oregon City’s Followers of Christ church. Carl Brent’s sentencing is now scheduled for Friday July 31st.
Oregon’s faith healing law took effect in 1999. It bars defenses based on religious practices in most abuse cases. What do these verdicts say about that law?
(Note: you may also be interested in listening to the show we did shortly after Ava died.)
- Bruce Starr: Oregon state senator (R-Hillsboro)
- Stephen Kanter: Constitutional law scholar at Lewis & Clark College
- Matthew Graham: News editor for the Clackamas Review
- Lane Borg: Criminal defense attorney and executive director of Metropolitan Public Defender