LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) — More details emerged inside a Lee County courtroom Wednesday during the preliminary hearing for a Smiths Station mother and great-grandparents accused of locking their young children in makeshift cages.
Lee County investigator Greg Sumner testified when they were called to the Smiths Station home in January they located two crib-like cages with tops that lock.
Investigators testified the cages, and the mattresses were stained with feces and urine. The investigator testified cockroaches and other bugs were crawling in the cages where the children were kept and slept.
A Lee County judge decided there was enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury for them to consider indictments.
The victim’s mother 30-year-old Kylla Michelle Mann was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse of a child less than six years of age and two counts of reckless endangerment.
The victim’s great-grandmother Pamela Deloris Bond, 66, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse of child less than six years of age, two counts of Reckless Endangerment and one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence. She is out on a $123,000 bond.
The victim’s great-grandfather 69-year-old James H. Bond of Smith Station was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Child abuse of a child less than six years of age and two counts of Reckless Endangerment. He is being held on a $122,000 bond.
Investigator Sumner testified the defendants claimed two children ages three and four were kept in the cages overnight for their safety. However, based on statements from older children in the home, investigators believe the young children where kept in the cages for the majority of the day and let out for brief periods.
Sumner testified the children could not stand up in the cages.
Monday, January 13, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding a possible child abuse situation at a location in the city of Smiths Station in southeast Lee County.
Sheriff’s investigators and personnel from the Lee County Department of Human resources conducted a welfare check at a residence in the 5000 block of Lee Road 246 and made contact with four children who were 3, 4, 10 and 11 years old.
“During the contact, investigators observed two wood constructed cages that had hasps and locks present. Investigation revealed evidence the children had been locked in the cages on multiple occasions. Investigators discovered that a fifth child, age 8 months, also resided at the residence but was not present at the time of contact, ” Sheriff Jay Jones said.
All five children have been removed from the residence and are in the care of Lee County D.H.R.