New York

Mother of New York church beating victims due in court; 1 son died, other hurt in attack

The mother of two central New York teenagers beaten during a church counseling session is scheduled to appear in court for her alleged role in the attack that killed one son and injured the other.

Attorney Devin Garramone says Deborah Leonard will be in court Wednesday to face a charge of first-degree assault in the death of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard and second-degree assault for the attack on 17-year-old Christopher Leonard.

Leonard and her husband, Bruce Leonard, initially were charged with manslaughter following the October beatings inside the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford. Both pleaded not guilty.

A grand jury has since upgraded charges against Bruce Leonard and several other church members to murder.

Deborah Leonard's case is being handled separately.

Garramone said she was too meek to stop the beating.