Fate of OR faith healing couple in jury's hands

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Jury deliberations have begun in the case of a Clackamas County couple whose baby died after they didn't seek medical attention.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/nmsyj4 ) that Dale and Shannon Hickman, both 26, face second-degree manslaughter charges for the death of their son, David, who was born two months early and lived less than nine hours.

Prosecutors say David had no chance at survival because his mother never sought prenatal care and the couple never considered taking the premature baby to the hospital, adding that when the baby turned blue, no one called 911.

But the Hickman's defense attorney says the couple is the victim of religious persecution, adding there's no evidence medical care would have saved the baby.

The infant was born with a bacterial infection and underdeveloped lungs.

The Hickmans are members of the Followers of Christ church in Oregon City