Concerned neighbors in Chadwicks want the Word of Life Church torn down after two teens were allegedly beaten inside. 19-year old Lucas Leonard died at the hospital and his 17-year old brother Christopher in in serious condition.

During a press conference, New Hartford Police Chief Michael Integra said "both brothers were the subject of a counseling session by church members and were continually subjected to physical punishment for several hours in hopes the brother would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness.”

The teens parents Bruce and Deborah Leonard are facing manslaughter charges. 4 others are charged with assault.

A Facebook page has been created, asking elected officials to close the church that police say 10 people were living in.

Close Word of Life Church Facebook Page

Kristie Addington posted that she's had close contact with one of the men arrested. "This is very disturbing. Mr. Leonard used to be our paper man. This man has been in my childhood home many times! Would have never seen this coming."

Stephany Mezza says, "There in my eyes is no justification for this ! Me and my siblings have always had bad vibes with this place."


A petition has also been created to shut the church down. It went up Wednesday night and is quickly gaining support and signatures. Too add your name, go to

Watch Chadwicks Manslaughter Press Conference

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