OREGON CITY -- A jury found the parents of an Oregon City infant with an eye problem guilty of criminal mistreatment Tuesday, for relying on their faith rather than medicine to treat the child.
The jury deliberated for an hour and 15 minutes before reaching their verdicts. Their decision was unanimous that Timothy and Rebecca Wyland were guilty of criminal mistreatment in the first degree. They will be sentenced on June 24 and could get up to five years in jail.
Little Alayna Wyland suffered from a buildup of blood vessels around her left eye during the first few months of her life.
The Wylands did not take the stand during the trial, which went to closing arguments Monday.
Defense: Wylands did not neglect baby
The attorneys said in closing arguments that the Wyland's were protective parents and this case has made them victims of religious persecution. The defense argued that the Wylands simply did not know Alayna needed medical attention.
The state took Alayna into custody after news of the baby's condition surfaced, having had experiences with Followers of Christ Church members in the past. At the time, case workers feared the consequences.
The court-ordered pediatrician assigned to Alayna's case was one of the defense witnesses. That doctor said that the Wylands have given Alayna regular medication, since the state returned the baby to their care. The doctor also said that the medication appeared to be helping Alayna's eye condition improve.
State rested its case last week
The state rested its case Thursday morning in Clackamas County Court.
Garrett Crone, Timothy's brother-in-law took the stand last week, crying as he described Tim as a loving, caring father.
He also described the day that police and state child care workers came to the home and the parents pleaded with them not to take Alayna away.
"The tall cop said, 'no' and Tim said, 'well, how come?' and he said, 'because you go to that church... 'and (the officer) said, 'well, yeah, but we can take her, we know how you believe,'" Crone testified.
Last Tuesday, a doctor testified that Alayna could have lost her sight in that eye if she hadn't been taken away from her faith-healing parents. That doctor also said that Alayna has permanent developmental damage to her eye which may require surgery.
"She could lose the eye completely. Her face could continue to deform," case worker John Faber testified.
Prosecutors also asked Legacy Emanuel Hospital Dr. Dan Leonhardt, an expert on child abuse who treated Alayna, about the girl's condition.
"The diagnosis I came to is 'medical neglect,'" he said.
(KGW reporter Amy Troy contributed to this report.)