Woman Jailed for Beating that Killed Teen Boy Who Talked About Leaving Church Cult

Word of Life Christian Church defendant Traci Irwin arrives for sentencing at Oneida County Court, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Utica N.Y., for her role in the beatings that killed a teenager and inured another in New Hartford, Conn., in October 2015. (Sarah Condon/Observer-Dispatch via AP)
Word of Life Christian Church defendant Traci Irwin arrives for sentencing at Oneida County Court, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Utica N.Y., for her role in the beatings that killed a teenager and inured another in New Hartford, Conn., in October 2015. (Sarah Condon/Observer-Dispatch via AP)

The matriarch of a small New York church where two brothers were beaten for hours during a counseling session has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Fifty-year-old Traci Irwin was sentenced Monday in Oneida County Court after pleading guilty to two counts of felony unlawful imprisonment.

The charges stemmed from the all-night beatings that killed 19-year-old Lucas Leonard and injured 17-year-old Christopher Leonard in October 2015 at the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford, near Utica.

Investigators said the brothers were beaten for talking about leaving the congregation.

Nine people were charged, including the teens’ parents and Irwin’s son. Eight have accepted plea deals. The lone holdout, the boys’ half sister Sarah Ferguson, was convicted in July of manslaughter and assault.

SOURCE: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS