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Jury gives "faith healing" mother prison time in son's death

A Tulsa County jury imposed a 2½-year prison sentence Friday night after convicting a woman of second-degree manslaughter in the diabetes-related death of her ailing son, whose treatment she believed relied upon spiritual means.

Prosecutors alleged that Susan Grady acted with “culpable negligence” toward 9-year-old Aaron Grady between June 2 and June 5, 2009, by not seeking medical treatment for him.

Aaron died June 5, 2009, at his family’s Broken Arrow apartment from complications of diabetes mellitus.

District Judge William Kellough set formal sentencing for June 8. Grady, 43, who has been free on bond, was jailed after the verdict was delivered.

Defense attorney Rob Nigh, who expressed disappointment with the outcome, said he will seek an appeal bond, which would allow Grady to stay out of custody during an appeal. That matter could be taken up at the formal sentencing.

Grady did not testify.

In relying on prayer to heal her son, Grady, a member of the Church of the Firstborn, told police in 2009, “I didn’t want to be weak in my faith and disappoint God.”

Nigh has maintained that Grady’s conduct was not unreasonable, based upon the teachings of her church.

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TAGGED: CHILDREN, HARM, RELIGION


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