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Fayette County parents charged with endangering children, cruelty to animals

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 11:15 p.m.

Two Fayette County parents who forced their children to climb through an apartment window to get food and who had a dead dog chained in their backyard are charged with child endangerment and cruelty to animals, police said.

Redstone police Sgt. Norm Howard said he found two girls, ages 10 and 12, in the backyard of a locked residence when he responded at 4:14 p.m. Monday to neighbors' complaints of a deceased dog.

“The conditions were horrible,” Howard said. “I've seen worse, but it was pretty bad.”

Neither parent, who are identified in criminal complaints as Christopher “Kid Rock” Jordan and Lavada Monique Mickens, both 34, was home at the time, Howard said.

Both are charged with two misdemeanor counts each of child endangerment and three summary counts each of cruelty to animals and failing to license dogs. In addition, each received three citations for various offenses under the state dog law.

In affidavits of probable cause, Howard said he found a fly-covered, dead Rottweiler “tied to a heavy tow chain” in the couple's backyard with its ribs “visibly showing.”

A second dog, also chained, was lethargic and in need of veterinary care. A third, which Howard described as a mastiff puppy, was “panting and heavily underweight” while “tied to an area in full sunlight with no food, water or proper shelter.”

The two children Howard found at the scene told him they had walked to the residence from their grandmother's house “miles away” in Tower Hill in search of food at their apartment.

“The juveniles stated that they didn't have a key to get inside, but they would usually climb through an unlocked window several feet off of the ground,” Howard said. “The juveniles stated that their mother told them to do that.”

The children's grandfather took custody of the girls, according to the affidavit. Howard said Fayette County Children and Youth Services was notified.

Howard said he confiscated the dogs because he could not immediately locate an animal control service since the closure of the Fayette SPCA.

He said he placed the dogs in the care of a neighbor, but he has since learned that Jordan retrieved them. Howard said he may seek a court order requiring the couple to forfeit the dogs until the criminal charges are resolved.

Charges were filed Wednesday with Redstone District Judge Mike Defino Jr. Hearing dates have not yet been set.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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