Parents, grandma accused of starving child to near death

photo grouping chlid abuseA three-year-old child, removed from his home in January, has been kept safe for months after his parents and grandmother allegedly nearly starved him to death. The child has since turned four years old and those allegedly responsible for his near-death starvation are now behind bars.

James M. Abner, 31, Jessica Schneider, 32, and Sherry King, 54, are all charged with criminal abuse.

On a tip, police investigated the family that lived on Abner Lane in Knox County, and found the child so malnourished that he was immediately flown to the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington. There, he spent 20 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy, Chad Wagner, investigated the case and Assistant Knox County Attorney Terry Beckner has been handling it since.

Knox County Attorney Gilbert Holland said that while the child has been in a secure place since he was found in January, he and Beckner have been waiting since that time for medical results from the child’s initial examination before filing criminal charges.

“We had preliminary records and had the child in a safe environment,” Holland said. “So we waited until we were certain that the child’s condition was not from an illness or medical condition before issuing charges.”

According to reports, on January 28th, an anonymous caller reported the child in ill condition at his home on Adair Lane. Social services took the boy to the Knox County Hospital emergency room.

Knox County sheriff’s deputies arrested the child’s parents, James Abner and Jessica Schneider and grandmother Sherry King Wednesday, after the lengthy investigation. King is Schneider’s mother. All three lived in the home with the boy.

Bond for King, Abner and Schneider is set at $10,000 cash and a preliminary hearing is scheduled in Knox District Court for, Wednesday, July 3. All three are detained in the Knox County Jail.