Judge: Faith-healing beliefs are evidence in trial

Travis Rossiter and his wife Wenona Rossiter pleaded not guilty in the manslaughter death of their daughter from untreated diabetes, Aug. 30, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Travis Rossiter and his wife Wenona Rossiter pleaded not guilty in the manslaughter death of their daughter from untreated diabetes, Aug. 30, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) – A Linn County judge has ruled that the religious beliefs and practices of an Albany couple can be used as evidence when they are tried on manslaughter charges in the death of their 12-year-old daughter.

Travis and Wenona Rossiter are accused of depriving their daughter of life-saving medical care for diabetes. Syble Rossiter died in 2013.

Syble Rossiter died in 2013. She was 12. (KOIN 6 News, file)
Syble Rossiter died in 2013. She was 12. (KOIN 6 News, file)

The Rossiters are members of the Church of the First Born, whose members believe traditional medical treatment is sinful.

Their lawyers argued their beliefs should be excluded as prejudicial – that they should be tried for their actions rather than their beliefs.

The Albany Democrat-Herald reports Judge Daniel Murphy ruled last week that if their beliefs compelled their actions, that’s a form of motive evidence.

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