The Richmond Register

September 21, 2011

Couple accused of locking up children set to appear in court

Register staff report

RICHMOND — A couple accused of locking two children in their allegedly feces-covered bedroom are scheduled to appear in Madison District Court this morning for a preliminary hearing in the case.

Stewart Michael and Jennifer Ann Shuman, both 23, were arrested Sept. 9 for first-degree criminal abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and first-degree wanton endangerment.

The Richmond couple was arrested by a Richmond Police officer, but Chief Larry Brock said he would not release any details of the investigation or case to protect the identity of the children.

The pair reportedly locked their 2- and 3-year-old sons in a room with a bungee cord. The room they were in allegedly had been covered with the children’s feces for a week.

One area news agency reported that Stewart Shuman had said the children were locked in the bedroom in those conditions because he could not control them.

At a preliminary hearing, evidence is presented to the judge, who will determine if there is probable cause to send the case to a Madison grand jury.

Defendants may waive the preliminary hearing and have their case sent directly to a grand jury, which will review the evidence, hear testimony and determine if there is enough evidence to issue an indictment.

The Shumans remain in the Madison County Detention Center, each in lieu of a $50,000 bond.