OREGON CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon City couple who practices "faith healing" will spend the next six years in prison, as their sentence for the death of their newborn.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to send Dale and Shannon Hickman to prison for six years. They got 75 months. The Hickmans' attorney asked the judge if the couple could be freed, pending an appeal, and he denied that request.
Clackamas County Judge Robert Herndon said the sentence was appropriate but added that the impact on the faith-healing family "tortured him." He also said that "God is not a magician" and that the midwife who helped in the infant's birth was "one of the most dangerous people" in the county.
The Hickmans held one another in a tearful embrace before deputies led them out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Several people in the gallery were also sobbing.
The Hickmans were earlier convicted of second-degree manslaughter for failing to seek medical attention for their son, who was born prematurely and died hours after his birth.
"I think it was difficult for many people emotionally," Jury Foreperson Collin Fleming said after the verdict was announced, "because it involves a child and because people's, it affects people's lives. How we decide affects people's lives."
The Hickman's trial marked the fourth case in recent years involving the church.
Earlier this year, a Clackamas County couple was arrested for mistreatment, accused of allowing a mass of blood vessels to grow over the eye of their 7-month-old daughter, jeopardizing her vision.