UPDATE: Decaying Corpse On Toilet

UPDATED Wednesday, July 22, 2009 --- 2:40 p.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has sentenced a leader of a religious order to two years in prison for hiding the body of an elderly follower on a toilet for weeks.

Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth says 59-year-old Alan Bushey kept 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth in Tammy Lewis' bathroom so he could go on collecting her Social Security payments.

Judge John Roemer says Bushey's actions had a devastating effect on Lewis' two young children and denied Middlesworth a proper burial. He also sentenced Bushey to three years of extended supervision.

Southworth had asked Roemer to impose a four-year prison term.

Bushey's attorney says Bushey believed God would raise Middlesworth from the dead and asked for three years of probation.

Middlesworth moved to Wisconsin from Washington state in 2005.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Updated Wednesday, July 22, 2009 12:45 p.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors have recommended a leader of a religious order spent four years in prison for hiding the body of an elderly follower on a toilet for weeks.

Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth says 59-year-old Alan Bushey kept 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth in another follower's bathroom for two months so he could go on collecting her Social Security payments.

Southworth called Bushey "warped" Wednesday. Bushey's attorney Thomas Steinman countered that Bushey honestly believed God would raise Middlesworth from the dead. Steinman says Bushey should get three years probation.

Judge John Roemer is expected to decide on a a sentence later Wednesday.

Middlesworth moved to Wisconsin from Washington state in 2005.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 22, 2009 --- 7:40 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A religious leader accused of hiding the body of a dead follower in a bathroom faces sentencing in Mauston Wednesday.

Fifty-nine-year-old Alan Bushey of Necedah pleaded no contest to one count of being a party to hiding a corpse in February in a deal with prosecutors. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Prosecutors say Bushey led the Order of the Divine Will. He and one of his followers, 36-year-old Tammy Lewis, left the body of 90-year-old Alvina Middlesworth, another member of their group, on Lewis' toilet so they could go on collecting her Social Security.

A deputy checking up on Middlesworth discovered the body in May last year.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, June 1, 2009---10:16 a.m.

NECEDAH, Wis. (AP) -- The estate of an elderly woman whose decomposing body was left in the bathroom of a Necedah home has sued members of a religious sect who took ownership of the house.

A lawsuit filed in Juneau County asks that the house and another property owned by 90-year-old Alvina Middlesworth be returned to her estate. It says the sect's leader, Alan Bushey, directed Middlesworth to buy two properties and have the title transferred to some members of the religious faction.

Alan Bushey pleaded no contest in February to telling one of his followers, Tammy Lewis, to hide Middlesworth's corpse. Bushey is living in one of the properties. He faces sentencing July 22.

Middleworth's remains were found by sheriff's deputies in the home's bathroom more than a year ago. Authorities say she died more than two months before her remains were found.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 5, 2009 --- 10:35 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A religious leader has pleaded no contest to hiding a decaying corpse on a follower's toilet.

Prosecutors charged 58-year-old Alan Bushey of Necedah last spring with hiding a corpse, two counts of causing mental harm to a child and two counts of theft.

They say Bushey and follower Tammy Lewis kept a 90-year-old woman's body on Lewis' toilet so they could collect her Social Security checks. Lewis reached a plea deal in November.

Online court records show Bushey pleaded no contest to hiding a corpse. Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth agreed to drop the other charges in return.

A sentencing hearing was set for May 5. Bushey faces up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, January 17, 2009 --- 11:40 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors say a religious leader in Necedah won't go to trial on charges of helping a follower hide a dead woman's body on a toilet for about two months.

The Juneau County district attorney's office said a hearing on a plea agreement is scheduled Feb. 5, and the April trial of Alan Bushey is canceled. The 58-year-old Bushey is charged with hiding a corpse, two counts of causing mental harm to a child and two counts of theft.

Prosecutors say Bushey and Tammy Lewis kept the body of a 90-year-old woman in the bathroom while continuing to collect her Social Security checks.

The 36-year-old Lewis pleaded no contest in November to a misdemeanor of obstructing a police officer and was fined $350. More serious charges will be dropped in two years if she cooperates with prosecutors and follows court orders involving her children.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATE Posted Monday, November 17th, 2008 -- 2:00 pm
By Zac Schultz

Juneau County: The woman who left a dead body on the toilet for two months in Juneau County has pleaded guilty.

Tammy Lewis pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer. In exchange, five other charges will be dismissed if she agrees to testify against her former religious leader.

Tammy Lewis looks remarkably different than she did the day she was arrested for leaving a corpse on the toilet.

Then, Lewis was known as Sister Mary Bernadett, and prosecutors say she was one of six members of a small religious cult known as the "Order of the Divine Will."

In May, Police found the body of 90 year old Alvina Middlesworth on the toilet in the house Tammy shared with her two kids. Alvina had been dead for two months, and Lewis and her kids had been using a bucket in a closet for their toilet.

Prosecutors say no one moved the body on the orders of Alan Bushey, the self-described Bishop of their church. Bushey told the kids and Lewis that Alvina would come back to life if they prayed hard enough.

Meanwhile, he continued cashing her Social Security and annuity checks.

"The state's belief is that Tammy Lewis is, at least in part, a victim of Alan Bushey's activities," says Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth.

Lewis' lawyer says Bushey took advantage of her. "She's unfortunately the type of person that's susceptible to this whole scheme that was put together," says Daniel Berkos.

Tammy Lewis has made progress since her arrest, with the help of mental health treatment and medication. Berkos has seen the difference. "Huge difference. She's regaining some confidence in herself, and that's the biggest thing. She had no self for a while and she's really regained that now."

Since this case started Tammy Lewis has had limited contact with her two children, a 15 year old girl and a 13 year old boy. Berkos says going forward, her only focus is to be re-united as a family. "We fully anticipate they'll be reunited without too much more delay."

Alan Bushey's trial is set for April.

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UPDATED Monday, November 17, 2008 --- 10:20 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A woman accused of helping her religious leader hide a decaying corpse on her toilet so they could continue collecting her Social Security was convicted of a misdemeanor.

Tammy Lewis of Necedah pleaded no contest Monday to obstructing a police officer and fined $350.

Prosecutors accused the 36-year-old Lewis and 58-year-old Alan Bushey of hiding 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's body on a toilet in Lewis' home after she died in March. Investigators say Middlesworth and Lewis were members of a religious sect Bushey led.

A criminal complaint says Bushey told Lewis that God would revive Middlesworth, who friends and family said was from Washington state.

Court records say that as part of Lewis' plea deal, Judge John Roemer deferred prosecution for two years on five other charges.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATED Monday, November 17, 2008 --- 9:00 a.m.

Tammy Lewis has Pleaded Guilty to count 6
946.41(1) Resisting or Obstructing an Officer

In exchange for the guilty plea the first 5 counts have been put in deferred prosecution, including two counts of Causing Mental Harm to a Child, Hiding a Corpse, two counts of Theft - Movable Property.

If she stays out of trouble for the next two years those five charges will be dismissed.

She has agreed to testify against Alan Bushey

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UPDATED Sunday, November 16, 2008 --- 1:30 p.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) --- A woman accused of helping her religious leader hide a decaying corpse on her toilet for weeks is set to enter a plea and be sentenced Monday.

Prosecutors have accused 36-year-old Tammy Lewis and 58-year-old Alan Bushey of hiding 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's body on a toilet in Lewis' Necedah home. Investigators say Middlesworth and Lewis both were members of a religious sect Bushey led.

A criminal complaint says Bushey told Lewis that God would revive Middlesworth. Investigators believe both of them wanted to collect Middlesworth's Social Security.

Lewis faces more than 35 years behind bars. Her attorney, Dan Berkos, has been working on plea bargain with prosecutors.

Bushey faces a host of charges, too. He's due in court in April.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Saturday, October 18, 2008 --- 4:00 p.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) --- The case against a woman accused of hiding a rotting corpse on her toilet for weeks is moving ahead.

A plea and sentencing hearing for 36-year-old Tammy Lewis is set for Nov. 17.

Lewis and 58-year-old Alan Bushey are accused of hiding 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's body on a toilet in Lewis' Necedah home. Prosecutors say Lewis and Middlesworth were part of a religious order Bushey led.

If convicted, Lewis faces more than 35 years in prison for charges of being a party to the crimes of two counts of causing mental harm to a child, one count of hiding a corpse, one count of obstructing an officer and two counts of theft.

Bushey faces the same charges. He has a hearing in March and a trial in April.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 16, 2008 --- 3:40 p.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has entered not guilty pleas for a religious leader accused of helping a follower hide a corpse on her toilet.

Alan Bushey faces one felony count of being a party to hiding a corpse, two felony counts of being party to causing mental harm to a child and two misdemeanor counts of being party to theft.

According to online court records, Bushey stood mute before Juneau County Circuit Judge John Roemer. The judge entered the pleas on his behalf.

Prosecutors say Bushey and his follower, Tammy Lewis, kept 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's dead body on Lewis' toilet. Middlesworth was another member of their group.

A criminal complaint says Bushey told Lewis that God would revive Middlesworth. Investigators believe they both wanted to collect Middlesworth's Social Security.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, September 15, 2008 --- 8 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A self-styled religious leader accused of helping a follower hide a rotting corpse on her toilet is due back in court.

Alan Bushey's plea hearing is set for tomorrow in Juneau County Circuit Court. He's expected to enter pleas to charges that include causing mental harm to a child, hiding a corpse and theft.

Prosecutors say Bushey and his follower, Tammy Lewis, kept 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's dead body on Lewis' toilet. Middlesworth was another member of their group. District Attorney Scott Southworth has described the sect as a cult.

A criminal complaint says Bushey told Lewis that God would bring Middlesworth back to life. Prosecutors believe they both wanted to go on collecting Middlesworth's Social Security.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, August 5 --- 6:30pm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Jurors from outside Juneau County will decide whether a self-styled bishop helped hide a corpse on a follower's toilet.

Alan Bushey's attorney, Thomas Steinman, argued publicity makes it impossible to select an unbiased jury in Juneau County. District Attorney Scott Southworth countered media coverage has been more intense elsewhere.

Judge John P. Roemer granted the request for change of venue Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Bushey told his follower, Tammy Lewis, to keep 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's body on Lewis' toilet. Middlesworth was another member of their sect.

Bushey allegedly told Lewis God would bring Middlesworth back to life. Prosecutors say the pair wanted Middlesworth's Social Security.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATE: Saturday, August 2, 2008 -- 1:15pm

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A self-styled religious leader accused of encouraging one of his followers to hide a corpse on her toilet for months is due back in court.

Alan Bushey's attorney, Thomas Steinman, has filed a motion to move the case out of Juneau County because of publicity. Judge John P. Roemer is expected to consider the motion at a hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Bushey told his follower, Tammy Lewis, to keep 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's dead body on Lewis' toilet. Middlesworth was another member of their sect.

According to a criminal complaint, Bushey told Lewis God would bring Middlesworth back to life. Prosecutors alleged they both wanted to go on collecting Middlesworth's Social Security.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATE: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 --- 7:35 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has allowed a woman's release on a signature bond after deciding she's competent to stand trial on charges involving a corpse kept in her home for about two months.

Tammy Lewis is accused of helping her religious leader hide the dead woman in her bathroom of her Necedah home so they could go on collecting her Social Security and annuity payments.

Juneau County Circuit Judge John Roemer says a psychological evaluation found Lewis suffers from mental abnormalities but has the ability to assist with her defense.

Investigators say the 90-year-old woman found dead in the home had been living there with Lewis and Lewis' two children.

Also charged in the case is Alan Bushey who calls himself a bishop of a religious group based at his Necedah home. Charges against the two include hiding a corpse.

The judge allowed Lewis to be released on a signature bond. She's to live with her parents and have no contact with other members of the group.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATE: Monday, June 16, 2008 --- 7:30 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge is expected to rule today whether a Necedah woman is competent to stand trial on charges linked to a decaying corpse she kept in her bathroom.

Thirty-five-year-old Tammy Lewis is charged along with 57-year-old Alan Bushey with causing mental harm to two children.

Prosecutors say the corpse was that of a 90-year-old woman who collapsed in the bathroom and eventually died.

They say Bushey is a self-proclaimed bishop who insisted Lewis leave the woman there, and that God would bring her back to life if they prayed hard enough.

Lewis lived in the home with her 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.

The decomposing body remained on the toilet for about two months. The home's occupants had to use makeshift bathroom facilities because that was the only toilet in the home.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 --- 7:50 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge says an alleged religious cult leader must stand trial on charges of helping to hide a dead member of the group for two months.

Juneau County Circuit Judge John Roemer ruled prosecutors presented enough evidence during a preliminary hearing yesterday to justify three felony charges against 57-year-old Alan Bushey of Necedah.

Bushey is to return to court to enter pleas to the charges June 23th.

Prosecutors say Bushey considers himself the leader of the Order of the Divine Will. They say Bushey and another sect member, Tammy Lewis, hid a 90-year-old woman's dead body on Lewis' toilet for two months so they could go on collecting the woman's Social Security and annuities.

Bushey is charged with hiding a corpse and two counts of causing mental harm to a child. He also faces two misdemeanors of theft.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008 --- 1:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has entered not guilty pleas on behalf of an alleged cult leader accused of helping hide a dead member for two months.

Prosecutors say Alan Bushey of Necedah considers himself the leader of the Order of the Divine Will. They say Bushey and another sect member, Tammy Lewis, hid a 90-year-old woman's dead body on Lewis' toilet for two months so they could go on collecting the woman's Social Security and annuities.

Bushey said nothing during a hearing Monday when Juneau County Judge John P. Roemer asked him for pleas on two misdemeanor charges of being party to theft. The judge entered not guilty pleas for him on both counts. Bushey is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 10.

He faces several felony charges as well.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008 --- 7:30 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- There's another development in the case of a woman whose body was left in a bathroom of a rural Necedah home for two months.

The man accused of telling a woman to keep the body there while praying for her to come back to life is free on $10,000 cash bond.

A Juneau County judge allowed 57-year-old Alan Bushey to be released after posting that portion of the $50,000 cash bond set earlier.

Court documents show Bushey told 35-year-old Tammy Lewis to leave the body of 90-year-old Alvina Middlesworth in the bathroom of the home where she and her two children also lived. Authorities say Lewis and Bushey continued to use Middlesworth's Social Security and annuity payments to pay bills.

Bushey is charged with being party to two counts of causing mental harm to a child, one count of hiding a corpse and two counts of theft. His next court appearance is June 10.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 -- 5:30 pm
By Zac Schultz

Mauston, Juneau County: New charges have been filed against Alan Bushey and Tammy Lewis, after they left a dead woman on a toilet for two months and prayed for her to come back to life

Bushey and Lewis now each face two charges of causing mental harm to children, hiding a corpse and two counts of misdemeanor theft.

Bushey was in court for his preliminary hearing Thursday.

The first witness called to the stand was R.L.L., the 12 year old son of Tammy Lewis.

R.L.L. lived in a small house in Necedah with his 15 year old sister, mother Tammy Lewis, and 90 year old Alvina Middlesworth.

He called Middlesworth Grandma, even though she wasn't related, and had moved from Washington State to join their small church.

The 6 member church has been described by the prosecution as a cult, and the leader was Alan Bushey, who instructed everyone to call him Bishop.

R.L.L and his sister were home schooled by their mother, and they were not allowed to speak or even sing without permission.

Alvina died while sitting on the toilet on March 4th, and R.L.L. says Bushey ordered them not to move her. Instead they prayed for her to come back to life. R.L.L. says, "The Bishop got on the phone and said, 'Do you believe God can do anything?' I said yes. He said, 'Just leave it in God's hands and wait and pray.'"

Alvina's body wasn't found until May 7th, when family members asked police to check on her welfare.

R.L.L. says Bushey told the kids if they told anyone, they would have to go to public school.

He says their toilet was a bucket in a closet, and eventually a slime began to drip from the bathroom into the basement. "It was dripping down into the basement floor, and they said it was just the demons trying to scare us."

R.L.L. says the smell of Alvina's body decomposing was blamed on his "unbelief" in her ability to come back to life. He says one afternoon Lewis came into his bedroom, "She said, 'I still smell the smell.' She said get on your bed, and so I did. I was paddled and I counted at least 20 times."

The preliminary hearing was adjourned after R.L.L. left the stand, because both the judge and the District Attorney had other court cases to attend to.

Bushey will be back in court for the rest of his preliminary hearing on June 10th. The District Attorney says he has 3 or 4 more witnesses to call.

The case against Tammy Lewis is still on hold while she undergoes a competency evaluation.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 --- 9:55 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A Necedah man is due in court this morning for his alleged role in keeping a decaying corpse in a home. Prosecutors say the 90-year-old woman's corpse remained in the Necedah home's only bathroom for two months. The woman who lives there with her two kids is charged in the case, as is 57-year-old Alan Bushey. He has a preliminary hearing today.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008 --- 10:55 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A competency hearing is postponed today for the Necedah woman accused of causing mental harm to her children by leaving a decaying corpse in their bathroom.

A judge this month ordered that 35-year-old Tammy Lewis undergo a mental evaluation.

She and 57-year-old Alan Bushey each face two counts of causing mental harm to a child.

Lewis' two children, ages 12 and 15, allegedly lived with her in the home where 90-year-old Alvina Middlesworth died in early March.

The criminal complaint says Bushey advised Lewis to leave the body in the bathroom, saying he had signs from God she would come back to life if they prayed hard enough.

The children are in foster care.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008 --- 7:40 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- A Necedah woman accused of harming her children by leaving a decaying corpse in a bathroom for two months is scheduled for a competency hearing this morning.

A judge this month ordered that 35-year-old Tammy Lewis undergo a mental evaluation.

She and 57-year-old Alan Bushey each face two counts of causing mental harm to a child.

Lewis' two children, ages 12 and 15, allegedly lived with her in the home where 90-year-old Alvina Middlesworth died in early March.

The criminal complaint says Bushey advised Lewis to leave the body in the bathroom, saying he had signs from God she would come back to life if they prayed hard enough.

The children are in foster care.

Bushey has a preliminary scheduled for Thursday.

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UPDATE Monday, May 19, 2008 --- 4:33 p.m.
By Zac Schultz

Mauston, Juneau County: The self-proclaimed "Bishop" that left a dead woman's body in the bathroom for two months could face more charges.

Alan Bushey is charged with two felonies for causing mental harm to a child. Also known as Bishop John Peter, Bushey is the leader of a six person congregation called the "Order of the Divine Will," located in Necedah, in Juneau County.

According to court documents, on May 7th a Sheriff's Deputy was checking on the welfare of a 90 year old woman named Alvina Middlesworth, who was living with Tammy Lewis and her two children.

The deputy found Middlesworth dead on the toilet in the home's only bathroom. She had been dead since March.

Prosecutors say Bushey had told Lewis and the kids if they prayed hard enough Middlesworth would come back to life.

Lewis is also charged with causing mental harm to her children, because they allegedly told the 15 and 12 year old kids if they told anyone Middlesworth was dead, they would have to get jobs and go to public schools.

District Attorney Scott Southworth says Bushey should not be called a minister. "We do not view Mr. Bushey as man of the cloth, but as a leader of a cult."

"My client is not a cult leader," says Tom Steinman, Bushey's defense attorney. Steinman produced documents showing Bushey was ordained. "He is a man of the cloth. He has been in the community for the past 10 or 11 years celebrating mass for his followers."

Southworth defended his use of the word cult, saying Bushey ordered the dead woman's body remain on the toilet. "Just about any objective person would say that is not any type of normal religious practice."

Southworth says Bushey could also be charged with hiding a corpse and theft by fraud. "They were in fact collecting money the deceased's social security as well as her annuity after her death."

The case against Tammy Lewis is currently on hold while she undergoes a mental competency hearing.

Bushey will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 29th.

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Monday, May 19, 2008 --- 3:45 p.m.

Bail has essentially been set at $10,000 for a man accused of keeping a decaying corpse in the bathroom for two months.

Fifty seven-year-old Alan Bushey appeared in a Juneau County this afternoon. He, along with 35-year-old Tammy Lewis, have been charged with two counts of causing a child mental harm.

Prosecutors say Lewis kept the decaying body of 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth in the bathroom of the Necedah home Lewis shared with her two children.

Prosecutors believe Bushey told Lewis that God would bring Middlesworth back to life.

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Monday, May 19, 2008 --- 8:25 a.m.

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- It's been just over a week since the decaying remains of a 90-year-old were found in the bathroom of a Juneau County home.

This afternoon the two adults charged in connection with the case are due in court for an initial hearing.

Thirty-five-year-old Tammy Lewis and 57-year-old Alan Bushey (boo-SHAY') are each charged with two counts of causing a child mental harm. Lewis is also charged with obstruction.

Prosecutors say Lewis kept the decaying body of Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth in the bathroom of the Necedah home Lewis shared with her two children.

Prosecutors believe Bushey told Lewis that God would bring Middlesworth back to life.

District attorney Scott Southworth has said Bushey may have been running a cult and defrauding Middlesworth to get money. He says Bushey could eventually face more charges.

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UPDATED Monday, May 12 --- 6:30 PM

A mental competency evaluation is ordered for the woman who lived with her two children in a rural Necedah residence while a 90-year-old woman's body decayed for two months in the bathroom.

The attorney for Tammy Lewis asked a judge in Mauston today for the evaluation; the judge agreed.

Thirty five-year-old Lewis and 57-year-old Alan Bushey are charged with two counts of causing a child mental harm. Lewis is also charged with obstruction.

Lewis' two children have been placed in foster care.

Court records show someone continued to write checks on an account belonging to Magedline Alvina Middlesworth after she died in early March. A deputy sent to check on her whereabouts last Wednesday found her decaying remains on the toilet in the bathroom.

Documents show investigators took financial records from that house and from the home of Bushey, a self-described bishop who has a sign outside his residence indicating he ran it as a chapel.

Lewis' lawyer Dan Berkos disputed comments of prosecutors that Bushey headed a cult.

Berkos says almost any organized religion could be described that way.

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UPDATED Monday, May 12 --- 12:05pm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Court documents suggest a religious group was collecting Social Security owed to a 90-year-woman deputies found dead on a toilet.

Prosecutors believe Tammy Lewis kept the remains of Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth in the bathroom of the Necedah home she shared with her two children. Lewis has said her "superior," Alan Bushey, told her God would bring the woman back to life.

Search warrants returned Monday say Lewis and Bushey belonged to a six-member religious group called the Order of the Divine Will and Lewis had a joint account with Middlesworth at the Bank of Mauston.

Bank officials told detectives Social Security payments totaling $1,170 went into the account and 25 checks were written on it after Middlesworth died.

AP

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UPDATED Monday, May 12 --- 11:55am

MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities say more charges could be filed soon as they continue to sort through why a woman left a 90-year-old woman's remains propped on her toilet.

Prosecutors say Tammy Lewis kept Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth's decaying body in the bathroom of the Necedah home Lewis shared with her two children for weeks. They believe Alan Bushey told her God would bring Middlesworth back to life.

Lewis and Bushey already face two felony counts each of causing mental harm to a child.

Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth has said Bushey may have been running a cult and defrauding Middlesworth to get money. He says more charges could come as early as this week.

Sheriff Brent Oleson says a state Justice Department agent will arrive this week to help local authorities.

AP

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UPDATE Posted Friday, May 9 --- 10:30pm

Neighbors are stunned the body of a 90-year-old woman went undetected, for months, inside one family's Necedah home.

The home belongs to Tammy Lewis, who lived there with her two children, while the body of the woman laid dead on the toilet since March.

A criminal complaint, from the Juneau County Sheriff's Department, identifies the woman as Magdeline Middlesworth, who the family claims was a religious leader in the community.

Self proclaimed bishop, Alan Bushey, told Lewis to keep Middlesworth's body there after she died unexpectedly and pray that God would bring her back to life. Lewis and her children did so until the body was found.

Neighbors are unsure of Lewis or Bushey's religious affiliation, but tell NBC 15 they are known to be apart of a religion practiced by several others in the neighborhood.

Lewis and Bushey have been charged with with obstruction of an officer and mental harm to a child. The children have been placed in foster care.

An autopsy on Middlesworth is pending.

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UPDATE Posted Friday, May 9 --- 4:30pm

Read Criminal Complaint (see Link Above)

Here is the latest information from NBC15 News:

Police found a 90-year old woman who they believe died two months ago. Her body was found in the bathroom at a home in Necedah Township, in Juneau County.

Three people live there: 35-year old Tammy Lewis and her two children, a 15-year old girl and a 12-year old boy.

Lewis, along with 57-year old Alan Bushey, were taken into custody.

Lewis is known as Sister Mary Barnadett, while Alan Bushey is known as Bishop John Peter Bushey.

According to the criminal complaint, police checked on the elderly woman at the request of her sister.

At first, Lewis refused to let the deputy inside her home.

When she eventually did, the deputy discovered the victim's body in the bathroom.

According to the criminal complaint, Bushey thought prayer would bring the victim back to life.

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UPDATE Posted Friday, May 9 --- 3:30pm

NECEDAH TOWNSHIP, Wis. (AP) -- A Juneau County deputy asked to check on an elderly woman found her decaying body in the bathroom of a house inhabited by three others.

Authorities believe the 90-year-old woman had been dead for at least two months when she was found Wednesday.

The woman's family had asked deputies to check on her, saying she hadn't made contact in months.

The sheriff's office said Friday three people live at the Necedah Township home in south central Wisconsin -- 35-year-old Tammy Lewis, a 15-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy.

Lewis and 57-year-old Alan Bushey were charged with two felony counts of causing mental harm to a child.

Juneau County Sheriff Brent Oleson did not immediately return a message asking about Bushey's relationship to the case.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted Friday, May 9 --- 2:40pm

News Release:

On May 7 at 4:45pm, the Juneau County Sheriff's Office did a welfare check at a residence in Necedah Township. The welfare check was on a 90-year old female subject who had not made contact with family for a couple of months.

The responding deputy located the female deceased in the bathroom of the residence. The female had been dead for a long period of time - at this time, believed to be approximately two months.

There were three subjects living in the residence: a 35 year old female and two children, a 15-year old girl and a 12-year old boy.

The pending investigation resulted in the arrest of the female: Tammy D. Lewis, and 57-year old Alan A. Bushey.

Bushey is tentatively charged with two counts of "causing mental harm to a child." Lewis is tentatively charged with two counts of "causing mental harm to a child" and one count of "obstructing an officer."

The incident remains under investigation by the Juneau County Sheriff's Office and Juneau County Coroners Office.

Sheriff Brent H. Oleson