Local News

Couple Enter Pleas in Son's Death

By Associated Press
Mar 06, 2012

A Carlton, Wash., couple have entered not guilty pleas to second-degree murder charges in the 2009 death of their teenage son, who died despite family members' efforts to heal him through prayer.

The Wenatchee World reports that 48-year-old Gregory Swezey and 46-year-old Garnet Swezey were released without bail Monday after hearing the charges against them. Trial is set for May 1 in the death of their 17-year-old son, Zachary.

Okanogan County Superior Court charging documents say the couple belong to the Church of the First Born, which believes in faith healing. The boy died of a ruptured appendix on March 18, 2009, after falling ill several days earlier. His parents told investigators they thought he had the flu.

The couple's lawyers entered the pleas on their behalf.

Prosecutor Karl Sloan has said faith is not a reason for failing to seek medical attention for your children.


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