Date: 2006-07-16

State, The (Columbia, SC)
Author: The Associated Press
Dateline: LYMAN

Two people have been charged with starving their three adopted children after an emergency call from a neighbor sent police to the home.

One boy, 5 years old, weighed less than 20 pounds when he was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on Thursday.

His 8-year-old brother weighed just less than 40 pounds, and the 7-year-old weighed just over 32 pounds.

All three boys also were treated for bruises, scratches, burns and head lice. Two of the boys told officers they were tied up to be kept from food in the mobile home they shared with their parents.

Dennis McCurry, 30, and Molly McCurry, 29, were each charged with three counts of intentional infliction of great bodily injury upon a child. If convicted of the felony, each faces a minimum 20 years in prison term.

"This is the worst case of child abuse I've seen in 19 years," said Spartanburg County sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Bobo.

A fourth child in the home, Molly McCurry's 10-year-old biological daughter, was found to have head lice but was not malnourished and did not require medical attention, police said.

"It appeared that mom, dad and daughter ate one way, and the boys ate another way," Bobo said.

According to the incident report, the couple told officers their family "had been dealing with a stomach virus that had caused the weight loss."

During his bail hearing, Dennis McCurry told Magistrate Judge John Poole that he had lost 10 pounds.

The couple were denied bail, and all four children are in protective custody.

The boys are Molly McCurry's biological nephews, but she and her husband adopted them. The children had lived with the McCurrys since 2003.

Neighbor Paul Lamb said he thought the boys looked thin but didn't know they were malnourished.


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