Carlton couple charged in son’s appendicitis death

OKANOGAN — The Okanogan County prosecutor has charged a faith-healing couple with second-degree murder in the death of their 17-year-old son who had a burst appendix.

Prosecutor Karl Sloan told The Wenatchee World faith is not a reason for failing to seek medical attention for your children.

Zachery Swezey died in March 2009 at the family home in Carlton. His parents, Gregory and Garnet Swezey, belong to the Church of the First Born, which believes in faith healing. Elders from the church had prayed for Zachery and anointed him with olive oil the day before he died.

Greg Swezey told police his son did not ask to go to the doctor.

The Swezeys were charged Feb. 2 and are scheduled for arraignment March 5 in Okanogan.

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