Austin Lewis Sprout
July 14, 1995 - December 20, 2011
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Can people be healed by faith alone? Austin Sprout was only 16 years old and his parents believed that their faith alone would heal him even though five years earlier, Brian Sprout, Austin's father, died of Sepsis after he refused medical care thinking that his faith alone was enough to make him well. The Sprout family are members of a church called The General Assembly Church Of The Fist Born, a church which is known for practicing faith healing.

Brandi Bellew, who remarried after the death of her husband Brian as well as her husband Russell, faced second degree manslaughter charges after the death of Austin.
Austin was apparently suffering with Flu like symptoms before he died. Brandi and Brian's six other children became wards of the state after they were charged.

Brandi and Russell would be able to take care of their remaining children through a state supervised in home safety plan which was decided by Lane County Circuit Juvenile Court Judge, Eveleen Henry. What was SHE thinking? Giving the care of children over to parents who have already killed one child? Through the safety plan, a state approved safety provider would be there and would report any sign of illness in any of the children and would call 911 if needed. The person who was appointed was also a member of the church the family attended though Del McCracken says he believes in getting medical treatment when necessary.

Under the terms of their pre-trial release from jail, Brandi, who was 36 years old at the time and Russell, who was 39 years old at the time, were not allowed to have any contact with each other, so they are going to take turns being with their children. Brandi remained in the home with the children while Russell moved out and Bob Schrank, Russell's lawyer said that Russell thought the children should remain in their home. Of the six children taken into custody, three were the biological children of Brian Sprout and Brandi and two were the biological children of Russell Bellew with one being the biological child of both.  It was reported that Russell had lost his first wife, Randi Dawn Bellew, in 2008, there is no cause of death listed for Brandi, though there were two children listed as having died, Elizabeth and Emma Bellew.

Church members were there at the hearing and bowed their heads to pray during the hearing. A State Child
Protection caseworker, Jennifer Long Perkins, told the judge that the remaining children in the home were aged
from 17 years old down to a baby. Each name was called and each was recommend to be removed from the custody of the couple due to the death of Austin. If the couple is convicted, they would face a sickenly short prison sentence of a mandatory minimum of six years and three months. For killing their child? What is to stop people from killing their children if they face such a small punishment for it?

A court appointed lawyer, Rebecca May, for the six children said that they were extraordinary children, very charming, well mannered, gracious, intelligent and interesting also saying that the family has a lot of support:

"When I was there, four other adults were there helping the mother"

The only objections made during court came from Bob Schrank, Russell's lawyer and Hugh Duvall, Brandi's lawyer, when they thought  it was unnecessary for the parents to go through a comprehensive psychological
exam. Land County Deputy District Attorney, lisa Chriton didn't agree:

"By no means are we suggesting that these parents are crazy. But we are asking the family to make
significant, life change decision about a practice (faith healing) they have long upheld. We want a
professional opinion that they are able to do that"

Lane County Circuit Juvenile Court Judge, Evelenn Henry  agreed and ordered the exams to take place, though
she allowed them to be delayed until the criminal case is over.

Being a Christian myself, I do believe that God has the power to heal. HOWEVER, I also believe that God gave man the ability to heal man and that it should be common sense to all of us that taking a child to the doctor when they are sick is necessary. It seems this family has lost a lot of members due to "faith healing" and when it has become so obvious that it's not working, a new plan should be formed.

The Eugene Register-Guard
Lane County, Oregon
Saturday, December 24, 2011

CRESWELL — A graveside service will be held at noon Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Creswell Pioneer Cemetery for Austin Lewis Sprout of Creswell, who died Dec. 20 of unknown causes, pending autopsy. He was 16. A dinner will follow at the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born.

He was born July 14, 1995, in Lowell to Brian and Brandi Smith Sprout.

He was a junior at Creswell High School and worked at Mountain View Ventures.

Survivors include his parents; grandparents Roy Sprout of Crewell, Roy and Wanda Bellew of Delta, Colo.; Doreen Smith of Cottage Grove and Randy and Pam Wilkinson of Parkland, Okla.; great-grandmother Mary Smith of Dexter; four sisters, Mariah Bellew, Breanna Sprout, MaKayla Sprout and Katie Bellew, all of Creswell; and two brothers, Braeden Sprout and Zach Bellew, both of Cresshy;well.

Arrangements by England's Eugene Memorial Chapel.


Today is June 15, 2014 and while looking for updates for Austin's story, I found this information:

In September of 2012 Russell and Brandi accepted a plea deal that would keep them out of prison. A disgusting sentence of five years of probation was handed down to them in exchange for their pleas of guilty to negligent homicide. Part of the plea deal states that their children will be closely monitored by the Department Of Human Services and that any time one of the children misses school because of being sick, they have to be seen by a doctor.

A child dies and then his siblings are allowed to stay with those responsible for his death? This makes no sense to me, but what do I know? I'm just someone who HATES child abuse!

Death occurred in the state of Oregon

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