- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) - A woman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for joining fellow members of a central New York church in a 14-hour round of beatings that killed one of her half brothers and wounded another.

Sarah Ferguson was convicted in July of manslaughter and assault but the judge cleared her of murder in the death of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard at the Word of Life Christian Church last October.

She wept and apologized at sentencing Thursday.

Ferguson is one of nine relatives and church members accused of attacking Leonard and 17-year-old Christopher Leonard after the brothers talked about leaving the secretive church.

The victims’ parents pleaded guilty to assault and agreed to testify against the 34-year-old Ferguson and the others, who are scheduled for trial in October on charges that include murder and gang assault.


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