The parents of a newborn who died while they and Followers of Christ members prayed for her to be healed have received the maximum jail terms allowed by law and three years of post-prison probation following their conviction on manslaughter charges.
Dale and Shannon Hickman, who are members of the controversial church and are related to the founder, received their sentence Monday, October 31. They will each serve 75 months in prison.
The Hickmans’ baby, David, was born two months premature at home in 2009 with church midwives advising them. No medical personnel were present and nothing besides prayer was used when the baby began to struggle to survive just hours after birth.
David died about nine hours after delivery. The Hickman’s attorney claimed religious persecution and said there was no evidence medical care would have saved the baby.
The jury in the case deliberated on their verdict for less than a day and were unanimous in their conviction.
The Hickmans will have to each serve 75 months in prison and will then be under “post-prison supervision” for another three years following their prison terms.
KATU-TV, The Columbian’s news partner, has much more on its site HERE.