THE bond amounts for a couple who allegedly tortured and beat a 10-year-old girl to a pulp for at least a month have been lowered.
Father Billy James Menees, 27, and Ashley Schardein, 24, had their bond lowered by $400,000 as of Friday – and are scheduled for a bond reduction hearing later this week, according to McAlester News-Capital.
Both were each charged last Tuesday with child abuse by torture, kidnapping, child abuse and several other charges, according to court documents obtained by the news outlet.
Menees and Scardein were being held in the Pittsburg County Jail with a $100,000 bond each after their initial bond was lowered from $500,000 by Judge Tim Mills.
The suspects allegedly battered and starved Menees' 10-year-old daughter, who has not been named for legal reasons, for at least one month, McAlester News-Capital reports.
After charges were filed, DA Chuck Sullivan said "If the allegations are true, these allegations are some of the worst that I've ever seen personally."
Police began probing the couple when a tipster noticed bruises on the child and contacted the Oklahoma Department of Health Services.
A relative also contacted DHS twice to report the alleged child abuse, it has been reported.
It is alleged in court docs that the couple punished the little girl “with emotional and verbal abuse, physical abuse, including spanking, tying her hands and feet for long periods of time…”
The suspects also allegedly shaved the child's head and at times stopped her from using the toilet.
They also forced her to sleep on concrete in a cold room with no pillow or blanket, the documents allege.
Prosecutors claim the girl survived on a diet of oatmeal and spinach while the couple would also make her “stand up for painfully long periods of time during the day, sometimes in wet clothing under a cold fan.”
According to local news reporter Lori Fullbright, who read the arrest affidavit, Schardein would eat in front of the starving girl as she cried in hunger.
Several other kids who lived in the Oklahoma home were removed and placed into the care of DHS when the couple were arrested.
Assistant DA Michon Hastings-Hughes said: “It’s about a little girl who was not just abused once or twice.
“But has been beaten to a pulp for at least a month, if not more. She was tortured and made to look like she just got out of Auschwitz.”
Schardein, who is seven months pregnant, was taken to hospital after the May 20 bond hearing after going into labor, her lawyer said.
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