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Indiana judge refuses plea; sentences couple to prison

Noble County Court Judge Roger Cosbey has sentenced a Ligonier, Ind., couple for the death last June of their infant daughter from a medically untreated illness, diagnosed as bacterial meningitis. They received 10 years for child neglect and five years for reckless homicide and were released on their own recognizance pending appeal.

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The judge listened Monday to the plea of David and Kathleen Bergmann for a suspended sentence, then imposed the prison term after they refused to renounce their commitment to healing through religious faith. They are members of the Faith Assembly congregation based in Noble County.

''The preventable death of a child will not be tolerated by the law,'' Judge Cosbey declared, ''even when cloaked in the garments of religion.'' The Bergmanns are the second Faith Assembly family to be convicted in the death of a child.On Aug. 28 a Whitley Circuit Court jury found Gary and Margaret Hall guilty of reckless homicide and child neglect in the death of their infant son in February.

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