Parents accused of allowing son's illness to kill him

Parents accused of allowing son's illness to kill him »Play Video

CRESWELL, Ore. - Authorities arrested the parents of a Creswell high school junior who died when his caretakers refused to seek medical help for his illness.

Authorities arrested the mother and stepfather, Brandi Shaunai Bellew, 36, and Russel Bellow, 39, for the death of Austin Lewis Sprout.

Sprout, a 16-year-old junior at Creswell High School, died in his home five days before Christmas after being ill for more than a week.

Now his parents are facing charges of second degree manslaughter, after authorities said they failed to get medical care for their son because of their religious beliefs.

Sprout's family is affiliated with a church called the General Assembly Church of the First Born in Pleasant Hill. This church is known for their beliefs in faith healing.

The sheriff did not say what exactly caused Sprout's death, only that medical professionals indicated the condition was highly treatable.

"If it was treatable and they didn't take the appropriate medical care to resolve that, then it's contrary to state law," said Capt. Byron Trapp with the Lane County Sheriff's Office.

Under Oregon State Law, Manslaughter in the Second Degree includes causing a dependent person's death by neglect or maltreatment, including failure to provide adequate medical care.

Sprout's obituary said that he enjoyed hunting and fishing and played on the junior varsity baseball and varsity basketball teams at school.