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Wylands guilty; sentencing is next week

Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, members of the Followers of Christ Church, will be sentenced June 24
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Timothy and Rebecca Wyland will return to Clackamas County Courthouse for sentencing June 24 after this week's jury verdict found them guilty of first-degree criminal mistreatment for failing to provide medical care for their infant daughter who was nearly blinded by an abnormal growth of blood vessels engulfing her left eye.

The Wylands belong to Oregon City's Followers of Christ church, which embraces faith healing and rejects medical care. Children there have died in previous cases, but the Wylands' 18-month-old Alayna recovered after the court ordered medical care and foster parents through the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Jeffrey and Marci Beagley, an Oregon City couple convicted in the faith-healing death of their 16-year-old son in 2008, completed a 16-month prison term this spring. Also this spring, the Oregon Legislature voted to end legal protections for believers in faith healing.

'In these types of cases-when children die or are disfigured without receiving medical attention-we cannot allow the parents who are perpetrating this neglect to use their religion as a defense for conduct detrimental to their own children,' said Rep. Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone).

Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote, who has overseen the recent string of faith-healing trials, released a short statement: 'We agree with the jury's verdict and appreciate their service. There is another case pending trial so we will have no further comment.'

The other case involves the accusation of second-degree manslaughter by Shannon and Dale Hickman, members of Followers of Christ whose son was born prematurely and died nine hours later. The Hickmans are scheduled to go to trial Sept. 8.