Defendants bound over for trial in Lamar child abuse case

·2 min read

Dec. 29—LAMAR, Mo. — Two of three defendants in a Lamar child abuse case were bound over for trial this month on charges they punished an 8-year-old girl for stealing and lying by confining her to a dog cage for an hour and pretending to have cut out a piece of her tongue.

Charles M. Parker, 45, and Toya D. Barber, 36, both of Lamar, each face two counts of felony child abuse and a single count of child endangerment in their Barton County Circuit Court cases.

Judge James Nichols found probable cause for Parker and Barber to stand trial on the charges at their preliminary hearing Dec. 14. A third defendant, Jessica I. Parker, 39, has a preliminary hearing on the same three counts set for Feb. 15.

Probable-cause affidavits filed in the case after an investigation by Lamar police of a state child abuse hotline call allege that Barber, the girl's stepmother, took her to the residence of her aunt, Jessica Parker, in June after the girl got in trouble for stealing and lying.

The girl purportedly was put in "a wire dog crate" at the aunt's home for an hour and was told she would be electrically shocked if she tried to get out. She later was "subjected to a simulated cutting" of her tongue in which Jessica Parker acted as if she sliced the girl's tongue with a knife and handed something that appeared to be a piece of tongue to a sibling of the girl with the instruction to throw it away.

Both Barber and Charles Parker were present when this was done and allowed it to happen, according to the affidavits.

The judge set their initial appearances in a trial division of the court for Jan. 14.

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