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3 LEBARON CHILDREN CALLED `MURDEROUS MISSIONARIES’

SHARE 3 LEBARON CHILDREN CALLED `MURDEROUS MISSIONARIES’

Federal prosecutors said three members of a radical polygamist sect on trial in the slayings of three former followers and a young girl plotted the killings in hopes of bringing on "the kingdom of God."

Defense attorneys hardly disputed their clients were involved in the killings. But they argued Tuesday that if the three killed, they did so as an act of revenge for years of abuse they suffered as children at the hands of three of their victims.The case went to the federal jury Tuesday.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Terry Clark called the defendants "murderous missionaries" who killed for God and the promise of obtaining worldly possessions for following their father's religious teachings.

The prosecution says the three plotted and carried out the slayings for material gain, but defense attorneys disagreed and said the government failed to prove the accusation.

The trial in U.S. District Judge Simeon Lake's court began Monday and included testimony from Cynthia LeBaron, who took the stand against her half-siblings.

William Heber LeBaron, 28; Patricia LeBaron, 27; and Douglas Lee Barlow, 31, were indicted in the July 27, 1988, fatal shootings.

Jennifer Chynoweth, 8, and her father, Duane Chynoweth, 31, were gunned down in a Houston driveway, while his brother, Mark Chynoweth, 36, was killed in his Houston appliance store. Ed Marston, 32, was slain in Irving.

The men had abandoned the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God, founded by the late Ervil LeBaron. Patricia and William are natural children of LeBaron, and Barlow is his stepson.