Friday, January 29, 2010

Faith Healing Trial Of An Oregon Father Continues

*Here's more concerning the trial of a father who's son died after receiving no medical treatment for his condition. I am curious to hear more facts come out on this case.

Teen's father on the stand, denies knowing severity of son's condition
By Matthew Graham,The Oregon City News

Jeff Beagley told an Oregon City jury Wednesday that despite staying home from work the June 2008 day his 16-year-old son died, spending the whole night before awake talking to Neil, carrying his ill son to the bathroom and family members coming to pray over Neil, he didn’t think Neil’s condition was bad enough that his life was in danger.

“(Neil) didn’t act like he was in pain or say anything about it,” Jeff Beagley said of his son’s condition on the day he died.

“He stops breathing, what happened?” asked attorney Wayne Mackeson.

“I thought about that a lot; I don’t know what I did,” Jeff Beagley said. “I couldn’t believe it. It was such a shock because he didn’t seem like he was that bad that he would die; it was just a total shock.

“Was there any talk about calling 9-1-1,” Mackeson asked.

“Not that I know of,” Jeff Beagley said. “I don’t remember.”

Jeff and Marci Beagley face criminally negligent homicide charges in the faith-healing death of their teenage son, who died June 17, 2008, from complications due to an inflammation in his urinary tract, according to the county medical examiner’s office.

Just the flu

Jeff Beagley testified during most of the day in Clackamas County Circuit Court that he had no idea why Neil died. He said he thought Neil just had the flu.

He also called into question previous testimony. Referring to a food journal the family kept in the week leading to Neil’s death, he said it didn’t account for everything Neil ate.

“I know there was more fed to him than was on that, it wasn’t 100 percent of what he ate,” he said. “It was more to keep track for (his mother) so she knew what she fed him.”

Jeff Beagley said he helped Neil get around the house and get to the bathroom, even sitting in the bathroom with him while Neil used the bathroom on the evening before Neil died. He said he did it more because he was worried about his son falling, not because Neil said he was too weak or light-headed.

Jeff Beagley cried while testifying about the death of his 15-month-old granddaughter, Ava Worthington, three months before Neil died. He cried again, as did Marci Beagley, when reviewing a school assignment Neil had done explaining why he looked up to his father.

God's will?

Prosecutors grilled Beagley, who claimed he hadn’t made statements reported by Oregon City Police Lt. Jim Band. Prosecutors also pressed Beagley on his religious beliefs and whether he ever would have taken Neil to a hospital.

“Your son is fighting just a common flu and then just out of the blue just stops breathing and you didn’t do anything?” asked Deputy District Attorney Greg Horner.

“I can’t tell you what I did,” Beagley said.

“Did you make any effort to get his heart going again?” Horner asked.

“I didn’t know how to do that at that point,” replied Beagley.

“Did you try to get the people there who did know what to do?” Horner asked.

Beagley said he didn’t.

“Nobody did anything because that’s part of your belief, isn’t it, it’s just the will of God,” Horner pressed.

“I guess it is,” Beagley said.

Pressing on the notion that the Beagleys knew heir son was in serious condition and needed medical help, Horner asked about the seemingly unprecedented events preceding Neil’s death.

Horner asked about why he didn’t go to work on Tuesday, the day Neil died.

“I was up all night talking to Neil,” Jeff Beagley said. “Pretty much he wasn’t tired so I stayed up and talked to him about things, cars, we might even have had the TV on.”

“And that’s just a coincidence that you happened to stay up all night with him the night before he died,” Horner asked. “That’s just a coincidence?”

“I guess,” Beagley responded.

Later, after Beagley said he’d carried Neil to the bathroom Monday night, Horner asked about that incidents relation to Neil’s condition.

“Was that also just a coincidence, the night before he died you felt compelled to carry him to the bathroom,” Horner asked later.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Beagley said.