Two Smiths Station children were kept in cages ridden with feces and cockroaches, Lee County sheriff’s investigators say.
Pamela Deloris Bond, 66, James H. Bond, 69, and Kylla Michelle Mann, 30, are believed to have locked two children in cages on numerous occasions, according to previous reports. The trio was arrested in January by Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
Judge Steve Speakman found probable cause Wednesday for the charges against each suspect during a preliminary hearing at the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika.
The cases of the trio will be heard by a grand jury; however, no date has been set.
Pamela Bond is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse of child less than 6 years of age, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
James Bond is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse of child less than 6 years of age and two counts of reckless endangerment.
Mann is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse of child less than 6 years of age and two counts of reckless endangerment.
Pamela and James Bond are out on bond. Speakman agreed to lower Mann’s bond to $5,000 with the condition that she appear for bi-weekly drug screenings.
Living conditionsInvestigators with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Lee County Department of Human Resources personnel did a welfare check at a residence in the 5000 block of Lee Road 246 in January.
Sheriff’s investigator Greg Sumner testified when he knocked on the door, James Bond answered and was cooking dinner at the time.
The four children were in the living room.
The house was out of order, Sumner said. Laundry was piled on the counters, dishes filled the sink and there were cockroaches in the house, he testified.
“I’m not talking just a little bit, stuff was piled everywhere, every square inch,” Sumner said.
Each door in the house was fitted with an eyehole, hook lock.
Pamela Bond said that she needed to use the bathroom and entered her own room. Sumner said that he saw the cages when she opened the door. The cages were fitted with silver padlocks.
A child then opened her door again, and Sumner said he saw Pamela Bond trying to hide the locks.
“Ms. Bond was standing over the cages, lock in her hand, hand under (the) clothes,” Sumner testified.
Sumner then asked her to place the locks back where they had been. He testified that Pamela Bond said she was afraid of getting in trouble.
When he investigated Pamela Bond’s room, Sumner discovered the two cages were covered in feces and urine.
“There was feces on the actual wood itself,” he testified. “There was some stain of feces or urine on the actual mattress itself.”
One of the cages was a crib outfitted as a cage with a top and lock. There was red marker on the walls of one of the cages, Sumner testified.
A fifth child, age 8 months, also was found by investigators to live at the Smiths Station residence; however, the child was not present at the time of contact.
Sumner testified that James Bond said the children are caged due to behavioral problems.
James Bond told Sumner that the four-year-old dumps out drawers, pours out soap and colors on the wall, Sumner testified.
James Bond told investigators that the children slept in the cages at night and were locked in to keep them from getting up during the night, Sumner testified.
The children were removed the night of the welfare check and are in the care of the county’s Department of Human Resources, authorities said.
It was revealed during court testimony that there was only a short time in the afternoon that the two children were allowed out, the 10-year-old told investigators.
FamilyThe residence was home to three adults — Mann, Pamela Bond and James Bond — and five children ages 10, 9, 4, 3, and 8 months.
Mann had custody of her 8-month-old, and the Bonds had custody of the other four children.
Mann previously sent a photo of the two younger children in cages to her mother, Teresa Swinson in Nebraska, according to Sumner. He said Mann did not remove her children from the cages, but questioned Pamela Bond on why they were caged.
Mann was afraid of losing her home, Sumner said, and asked her mother not to share the photo.
Swinson shared the photo with the Nebraska Department of Human Resources, which contacted the Lee County Human Resources, Sumner said.
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