A religious group is facing trial in the Australian state of Queensland over the death of child with diabetes.
In 2022, Elizabeth Struh was found dead in her Rangeville home after allegedly being denied insulin for days. She suffered from type 1 diabetes.
14 religious group members charged over the death of an eight year-old girl remain behind bars as the continue to refuse legal representation. The six men and eight women appeared before the Brisbane Supreme Courts on Friday for a case review.
According to police, the group prayed to God to heal her instead of seeking medical help.
The religious group said they loved Elizabeth and trusted God to heal her.
The alleged leader of the group known as “The Church”, Brendan Luke Stevens, is accused of Elizabeth’s murder.
Elizabeth’s parents – Keri and Jason Struh – are among those charged with manslaughter.
The girl’s 19-year-old brother, Zachary Alan Struss, was instrumental in encouraging Elizabeth to stop taking her medication.
Late last year, Lachlan Stewart Schoenfish, 32, who is also a member of the religious group, said the group followed the Bible.
“Nothing is said about calling doctors. The Bible says pray, lay hands on the sick and prayer will save them. So we did everything the Bible said. Elizabeth’s eternal life is more important,” he told the court.
After the court proceedings, the chatted to one another, most smiling and appearing to be in high spirits. In response to questions from allocated trial judge Justice Martin Burns as to whether the accused wanted to apply for legal assistance or bail, some softhy said “no” while other shook their heads.
Another judge had previously spoken at lenght about their rights, justice Burns said. Furthermore, he asked crown prosecutor Todd Fuller to give eache accused a one-page document with numbers for Legal Aid, the court and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in case they needed to make contact.