Russel and Brandi Bellew, age 39 and 36, of Creswell, Oregon, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide on Tuesday and were sentenced to five years probation after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
The couple, who had seven children before Austin Sprout's death, are members of the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born in nearby Pleasant Hill, which shuns modern medicine and teaches parishioners that faith healing and prayer will cure disease.
It was also revealed on Tuesday that Austin died in December from a burst appendix after he suffered from appendicitis for a week, the Eugene Register Guard reported.
Appendicitis, the inflammation of the appendix, often results in excruciating abdominal pain that requires heavy doses of morphine to keep under control. However, it can be easily treated with routine surgery that removes the appendix.
Left untreated, the inflamed organ can burst and spew bile into the body, which results in dangerous infections that often prove deadly.
The couple were charged with second-degree manslaughter after authorities learned the Austin's death could have been prevented if his parents had simple taken him to the hospital.
Austin's father, Anthony, died in 2007 of sepsis, after he refused to seek treatment for an infected injury to his leg.
His mother, Brandi, later married Russel Bellew -- who was also widowed.
At the time of Austin's death, his uncle Shawn Sprout, defended the congregation's practice of faith healing.
'We trust in God for everything. We trusted him to take care of our illnesses and heal us,' he told KVAL.
Social workers removed the other six children, who range in age from infant to 17, from the Bellews home.
It is unclear whether they will be returned to their parents, though a case worker said she believes they are 'safe' in the home.
Edited by Render, 19 September 2012 - 08:08 AM.