Judge upholds sect leader's conviction

Boston Globe/July 4, 2002

Attleboro, Ma -- A judge has rejected a religious sect leader's bid to reduce his murder conviction to manslaughter for the starvation death of his infant son. Jacques Robidoux, 29, was convicted June 14 of first-degree murder and sentenced to automatic life in prison after he described how he and other members of his sect withheld solid food from his 1-year-old son, Samuel. Robidoux's defense attorney, Francis O'Boy, said Judge Elizabeth Donovan had erred in her instructions to the jury; he asked her to throw out the verdict and find Robidoux guilty of manslaughter or to order a new trial. In a four-page ruling, the judge refused.

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