Another Oregon ‘faith-healing’ church death

KPTV reports…

An Albany couple accused of letting their religious beliefs stop them from helping their dying child are closer to getting out of jail tonight.

A judge reduced bail for Travis and Wenona Rossiter Friday.  The couple pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter.

Police say the pair subscribed to faith healing,  instead of seeking medical treatment for their diabetic daughter.

FOX 12 has learned the couple’s daughter Syble, age 12, died after going into diabetic shock.   A condition  that could have been reversed with a relatively simple medical treatment.

Court records say her parents didn’t try to get any help from doctors  and because of that, they recklessly caused her death.

The Rossiter’s were arrested in their Albany home Thursday, after a seven month long investigation into the death of their daughter.

Police confirm the couple belongs to the Church of the First Born in Brownsville,  investigators say that the church has been known to insist its members use the power of prayer instead of the power of medicine.

When Syble grew sick back in February of this year, court records accuse the couple of deliberately denying her the medical treatment she needed to survive,  in turn causing her unnecessary death.

The Rossiters are just the latest in a number of couples from their church to face prosecution in the death of a child.

It’s a topic their attorney knows very well.

Paul Kuebrich dismissed himself from the case because of his relationship to another family who attended the Church of the First Born.

In the 90’s he was friends with Loyd and Christina Hays, who went on trial after their son died from a treatable form of leukemia.   

 Loyd Hays was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, but Christina was acquitted of any wrongdoing.

 That was before Oregon toughened its laws about the effects of faith healing.

Kuebrich tells FOX 12 Wenona Rossiter is Loyd Hays’ daughter.

 She now finds herself walking a similar path to her own father, waiting for judgment from the courts.

The judge reduced the couple’s bail from $50,000 each to $10,000 on the condition they do not have contact with their three kids who are now in state custody , unless they are granted permission by DHS.

The Rossiters were also told to comply with all DHS Requests.

Their next court appearance is set for Sept. 30, at 8:30 am.”



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