The murder trial of a Georgia couple accused of whipping, confining and then beating their son to death shines a spotlight on the child discipline practices of a controversial Brentwood church.
Josef Smith, 8, died in 2003 on the day he was whipped with foot-long glue sticks, locked in a closet and told to pray to a picture of Jesus. Ex-members of the church say the punishments were in line with the discipline advice they heard while attending Remnant Fellowship Church.
Sonya Smith told police that on the day he died the couple had disciplined Josef with a series of glue-stick whippings, delivered in increments of 10. She said the boy was locked in a closet and made to pray to a picture of Jesus affixed to the ceiling. He was monitored in the kitchen via a camera in the closet.