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Church members sentenced on abuse charges


Church members sentenced on abuse charges

Associated Press/January 7, 2004

Kansas City, Kan. -- Two members of a storefront church have been sentenced to probation for binding and gagging the church leaders' children as punishment.

One of the children, 9-year-old Brian Edgar, died as a result of later abuse, prosecutors said, and his parents and a baby sitter were convicted of murder.

Wyandotte County District Judge Philip L. Sieve on Monday sentenced Patricia Walker, 45, to 13 months of community corrections, a structured probation program run by the county. Wyandotte County District Judge Muriel Y. Harris sentenced Renita Allen-Jackson, 41, to 26 months of community corrections.

Walker and Allen-Jackson were among five women, all from Kansas City, Kan., who pleaded no contest in the fall to reduced charges of attempted child abuse.

Allen-Jackson was convicted of two counts of attempted child abuse, Walker of one.

The five women were initially charged with child abuse. They were accused of abusing the church leader's three adopted children, including Brian, and a 12-year-old boy who knew the family.

The women faced up to three years in prison on each count of attempted child abuse.

Last month, a judge sentenced Idella A. Horton, 23, to 13 months of probation for her role. Julia Edgar-Montgomery, 55, will be sentenced later this month, and no date has been set for sentencing Barbara Clark, 46.

In neighboring Johnson County, Neil and Christy Edgar, pastors of God's Creation Outreach Ministry in Kansas City, Kan., and baby sitter Chasity Boyd were convicted in September of first-degree felony murder in the death of Brian, as well as of abusing two other children in the Edgar family.

Prosecutors said Christy Edgar and Boyd punished Brian on Dec. 29, 2002, for stealing food by binding him like a mummy in duct tape. They left him overnight with only his nose uncovered, and he suffocated on his own vomit at the family's Overland Park home.

Prosecutors said Neil Edgar did not participate in the abuse but was aware of it and did nothing to stop it.

Neil Edgar and Boyd are appealing their jury convictions. Christy Edgar pleaded guilty at the start of the trial, but she has since told the court she wants to withdraw her plea.

All three face potential life sentences.

Besides the charges in Johnson County, Christy Edgar and Boyd also face charges in Wyandotte County.

2004 Jan 7