West Virginia Man Who Said He Was Trying to 'Baptize' Wife and Kids Charged With Trying to Drown Them: Police

Police in West Virginia have charged a man who claimed he was baptizing his family in a bathtub with attempting to drown them.

Leslie Kelly of Chapmanville was charged last week with attempted murder, domestic battery and child abuse creating the risk of serious injury, reported WVAH.

In a news release cited by the Associated Press, Logan County Sheriff's Office said deputies found Kelly's wife outside their home drenched with water. She told them her husband was still inside.

She had called 911 to tell police that Kelly had held her and their two children under water, but Kelly said he was trying to baptize them on God's orders. Deputies said the children are aged three and six.

Deputy Barry Mynes Jr. with the Logan County Sheriff's Office, as cited by WSAZ, said Kelly repeatedly told him he was trying to send his children to heaven.

"And to me, that gave me the impression that he was just wanting to hold them under until they would go to heaven," Mynes says.

"We said were they not crying and screaming, trying to get away from you? He said 'yeah they were, but I was just holding them under water, trying to baptize them, because I want them to go to heaven ' " Mynes said, adding: "He made remarks that God told him to do that. I have a close relationship with Jesus Christ and there's no doubt in my mind that is false what he said."

Kelly admitted to police that his children were kicking and screaming as he held them under water.

Kelly is being held in the Southwestern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond.