Prosecutors: Religion central to Ore. girl's death

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on April 26, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Updated Saturday, Apr 26 at 11:44 AM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A Linn County judge will soon decide whether a family's religious beliefs are relevant to the death of their daughter.

Twelve-year-old Syble Rossiter died of complications from diabetes, and endured such a dramatic weight loss in the month before she died that a teacher confronted her mother about the issue.

The Albany Democrat-Herald reports the family is part of the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist sect that believes traditional medical treatment is sinful, and instead trust in God to heal them through faith.

Syble's parents, Travis and Wenona Rossiter, face manslaughter charges.

Their attorneys want to exclude evidence of the couple's beliefs from the trial, arguing that such evidence would be prejudicial.

Prosecutors say the family's beliefs are the reason they failed to seek medical care.

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