Preacher charged in Loudon girl's death dies

Preacher charged in Loudon girl's death dies

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Crank (left) and Sherman earlier this year. Crank (left) and Sherman earlier this year.

LOUDON (AP/WATE) - A man who persuaded an East Tennessee woman not to seek medical care for her daughter has died in South Carolina.

Loudon County District Attorney General Russell Johnson said his office was informed Monday that Ariel Ben Sherman died in Mauldin, S.C. The cause of death was not known.

Sherman and Jacqueline Crank were convicted in May of misdemeanor neglect in the death of 15-year-old Jessica Crank in September 2002. They had been charged with felony child neglect.

Sherman described himself as the teen's "spiritual father" and urged Jacqueline Crank to rely on faith for her daughter's recovery from cancer.

Deputy D.A. Frank Harvey said an appeal before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals deals with major constitutional issues involving the state's spiritual exemption law.

Harvey said the court is still scheduled to hear the case.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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