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Woman convicted in Word of Life killing loses appeal

Sarah Ferguson

The woman sentenced to 25 years in prison in the death of her half-brother at a Chadwicks church in 2015 has lost her appeal.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 11:28 AM
Updated: Nov 12, 2019 11:28 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The woman sentenced to 25 years in prison in the death of her half-brother at a Chadwicks church in 2015 has lost her appeal.

Sarah Ferguson was one of nine defendants in the death of Lucas Leonard and the assault of Christopher Leonard at the Word of Life Church. She was accused of whipping her brothers with an electrical cord at the church in October 2015, leaving Lucas dead and Christopher severely injured.

Ferguson was sentenced in September 2016, after being convicted of first-degree manslaughter, gang assault and assault.

The appellate court decided Tuesday that Ferguson’s 25-year sentence was not excessively harsh, and declined to address the assertion that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. 

The court heard Ferguson’s appeal in early September of 2019.

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