Gwinnett County

Gwinnett man found guilty in baby's death

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County jury has found a man guilty in the death of his baby.

George Landell maintained he waited to go to the hospital for his sick 11-week-old daughter because of his religious beliefs. %

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“All sickness, disease and infirmities are of the devil. And not of God,” Murphy testified.

Authorities say Neveah was dying of malnutrition because her parents mixed water in with her feedings. When she got sick, they felt prayer, not medicine, would heal her.

The jury took the lesser of two options, finding Landell not guilty of malice murder, which would have been a life sentence.

Instead, Landell was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison plus 10 years on probation.

“Based on the jury’s findings, judge, I think it's clear that what they concluded was that Mr. Landell did not act maliciously or willfully in this case, but rather he did so negligently,” attorney Maryann Blend said.

Landell’s spiritual advisor asked the judge for leniency in sentencing.

“He loved his daughter. He was grieved at the loss of his daughter,” Dwayne Murphy said. “If you will, consider the fact that George is loved by family, by friends.”

After his sentence, Landell stood up and thanked the court.

“Given how the process went, I believe it was fair,” he said. “I thank you that you considered what my brother said and what my attorney said. Thank you.”

The jury foreman told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas it was a very tough case to decide because it wasn’t only about the death of the child, but religious freedoms and beliefs.

Landell’s wife, Lauren Fristed, was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison for her involvement in the child’s death.

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