For the first time publicly, Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara is shedding some light on a possible motivation behind the beating death of a 19-year-old whom authorities say was brutally assaulted inside the Word of Life Christian Church in Chadwicks this week.

In a segment that aired on Thursday's edition of the CBS Evening News, McNamara said the 'counseling session' which turned physical may have been prompted by Lucas Leonard's desire to leave the church:

"What we understand was that there was an issue about whether the older brother wanted to stay in the church," McNamara told CBS News. "There was a confrontation with the two parents and it turned physical."


During the segment that aired, McNamara also described the incident as a gang-style attack. Thus far, only Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in their son Lucas' death. Four others, though, are currently charged with assault in connection with the alleged attack that left 17-year-old Christopher Leonard hospitalized in serious condition.

UPDATE: After discussing this new information on air, WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning was able to make contact with DA McNamara. He joined us on air for the final segment of Friday's show:

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