Regional
10:31 am
Thu September 24, 2009

NM Prison Can End Fast

New Mexico – A judge says medical staff at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility can decide whether it's necessary to force feed an imprisoned sect leader who has refused for weeks to eat.

Wayne Bent is the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church. He was sentenced in December for criminal sexual contact of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He's serving a 10-year prison term.

On Wednesday, a doctor for the state testified that Bent's vital organs would shut down if he continued to fast. Judge John Pope ruled in favor of the prison, saying Bent could continue his fast unless a doctor decides to intervene by inserting a feeding tube.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.