Christianity

The Latest: Jurors begin deliberating in gay beating trial

The Latest on the trial of a North Carolina minister accused of orchestrating the beating of a gay congregant (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

The jury in the case of a North Carolina minister accused of orchestrating the beating of a gay congregant has gone home for the day after deliberating for about an hour.

Deliberations will resume Tuesday morning.

Brooke Covington, a longtime minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina, is accused of leading the 2013 beating of former member Matthew Fenner to expel his "homosexual demons."

During closing arguments Monday, defense lawyer David Teddy said Fenner requested the form of prayer delivered by church congregants and knew what was coming.

Prosecutor Garland Byers argued that people should not be assaulted in the name of religion.

Byers said Fenner was held against his will and attacked.

Covington is the first of five church members to face trial in the case.

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4:30 p.m.

The lawyer for a North Carolina minister accused of orchestrating the beating of a gay congregant has ended the defense without calling any witnesses.

It was not immediately clear when the jury would begin deliberating in the case Brooke Covington, a longtime minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.

The 58-year-old Covington is accused of leading the 2013 beating of former member Matthew Fenner to expel his "homosexual demons."

During closing arguments Monday, defense lawyer David Teddy said Fenner requested the form of prayer delivered by church congregants and knew what was coming.

Prosecutor Garland Byers argued that people should not be assaulted in the name of religion.

Byers said Fenner was held against his will and attacked.

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1:30 p.m.

The lawyer for a North Carolina minister accused of orchestrating the beating of a gay congregant says he may not call any defense witnesses.

Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old longtime minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina, is accused of leading the 2013 beating of former member Matthew Fenner to expel his "homosexual demons."

Defense attorney David Teddy told the judge Monday that he did not plan to call any witnesses. But under questioning from the judge, Covington said she needed to discuss with Teddy during a lunch break whether she wanted to testify on her own behalf.

Covington, who pleaded not guilty, is the first of five church members to face trial in the case. Each defendant will be tried separately.