Broken Arrow Mother Faces Neglect Charges In Son's Death

Wednesday, December 29th 2010, 6:07 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Green Country woman's religious beliefs could send her to prison. She's accused of felony child neglect for choosing prayer over medicine for her sick son.

Tulsa County prosecutors have charged Susan Grady with felony child neglect for the death of her 9-year-old son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died in Broken Arrow 18 months ago.

The medical examiner found that he died from complications of diabetes. Investigators say three days before he died, Aaron got very sick.

Witnesses told police he was lethargic, urinating on himself, and breathing hard, but they also say he was still eating. Investigators talked to five people who said they'd visited the boy to pray for him.

The police affidavit says Susan Grady's brother was there when his father tried to get Susan to take her son to the doctor. 

According to police records Grady says she knew the boy was very sick, but she didn't consider taking him to the doctor, because she was "trying to live by faith" and she "felt like God would heal him."

The police affidavit says Grady told police she was a member of the Church of the First Born.

The Church of the Firstborn made headlines back in 1999. Tulsa baby Alexis Sandefur was born with cystic fibrosis and a perforated bowel.

Her parents were members of the Church of the Firstborn and refused to get her medical treatment, believing prayer would heal her. The state took custody of Alexis, and she underwent several surgeries against her parent's wishes.

After a nine-month legal battle, baby Alexis left the hospital and went home to her parents. She was terminally ill and died a week later.

The case in 1999 did not lead to criminal charges. Susan Gray is not in police custody, but a warrant for her arrest has been issued.