Couple Charged With Child's Death

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Date: 2000-05-10

Couple Charged With Child's Death

Police Say Discipline Turned Deadly

CLEVELAND, Texas, Updated 3:04 p.m. CDT May 10, 2000 -- A couple from Liberty County is behind bars after being charged with injuring their adopted children.

Police say Edith Beebe, 43, and Brian Beebe, 54, used a cane-like object to discipline the children. They have been charged with injuring four disabled children that they adopted.

The couple remains in jail after pleading innocent to the charges Tuesday.

Joseph Beebe, 8, died in March from injuries suffered while living with the Beebes, who have been under the scrutiny of law enforcement agents since his death. Investigators say they have abused several handicapped children.

Justin Martin, Edith's son from a previous marriage, is also behind bars on one first-degree charge of injury to a child and three third-degree felony charges. The couple's five other children are now in foster care. The Beebes are being held without bond.

If the Beebes are found guilty, they face up to life in prison, while their son's charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison for each charge.

Child protective services agencies in 49 states investigate cases and have determined that fewer than 1 million children were victims of child abuse and neglect in 1997. They also investigated about 2 million reports alleging the maltreatment of almost 3 million children.

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