Police Raid Weigh Down Workshop - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Firm Beliefs

Police Raid Weigh Down Workshop

(Story created: 5/19/04)

Wednesday, police raided a business in connection with the Brentwood-based Remnant Fellowship. Police said the raid was part of a murder investigation. A NewsChannel 5 investigation uncovered tapes from inside the church that may have led to the raids.

Detectives with search warrants in hand entered the Weigh Down Workshop, which is run by Gwen Shamblin, the head of Remnant Fellowship.

Two members of the church, Joseph and Sonya Smith, were arrested in Atlanta for allegedly beating their 8-year-old son to death.

Detectives testified that the couple admitted to using glue sticks to beat their son. It's an idea that a NewsChannel Five Investigation discovered, originated inside Remnant Fellowship, a church that preaches strict discipline of children.

Detectives said they hope the search will yield evidence that may explain what the Smiths were thinking and what role, if any, their religious beliefs played in the death of the child.

Investigators said they're worried there could be more victims.

NewsChannel Five learned that in addition to the investigation out of Atlanta, Franklin police have now opened their own investigation.

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