"Doctor Testifies In Remnant Church Members' Murder Trial"

WKRN News, Tennessee/February 10, 2007

Graphic photos were seen a doctor’s testimony heard in the murder trial of couple accused of beating to death their eight-year-old son.

Joseph and Sonya Smith are affiliated with Brentwood-based Remnant Fellowship Church and prosecutors believe the church's teachings played a role in the alleged abuse.

“We get concerned not when we see one bruise, but when we see multiple bruises in very concerning patterns in different parts of the body... They're very hard to explain from an accidental injury.”

The ER doctor who treated the boy shortly before this death testified, the boy, Josef Smith, was in extremely critical condition when he arrived with extensive bruising that hinted at a long history of abuse.

He said, “The extent of the injuries he had, the pattern of the injuries that he had, the nature of the injuries that he had, in that several of his injuries were fresh, several were old, several were in the later stages of healing. Those injuries are injuries that we see classically in cases of child abuse.”

The accused couple sat and quietly took notes while prosecutors showed the jury graphic photos of Josef’s injuries.

The trial is expected to last most of next week.

The Remnant Fellowship Church, founded by GwenShamblin, has been criticized in years past for the way it teaches discipline towards children.

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