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Parents Convicted In Girl’s Diabetes Death

Wed., April 23, 1997

The parents of a 16-year-old girl who died from diabetes were convicted Tuesday for relying on prayer instead of medicine. It was their second conviction in the death of an untreated child.

Lorie Nixon wept when the jury found her and her husband, Dennis, guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. Their daughter, Shannon Nixon, died in June of treatable diabetes. Pathologists said her heart gave out when her blood sugar level soared 18 times higher than normal.

The Nixons are members of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, a Philadelphia-based Christian sect that advocates faith healing. Their 8-year-old son died in 1991 of an untreated ear infection.

“God is the giver and taker of life,” Lorie Nixon testified Tuesday.

Shannon died at home in Altoona, abut 85 miles east of Pittsburgh.

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