16 DIEHL CHILDREN CAN VISIT ONE ANOTHER
Sixteen children of Michael and Karen Diehl, separated since their parents were charged with killing their brother, will be allowed to visit one another beginning next week, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Samuel R. Brown II, one of two legal guardians appointed to protect the interests of the children, petitioned the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to set visitation rights among the children.
Brown said he was responding to requests from the children to spend time together.
The Diehls were arrested Oct. 24 after Dominick Joseph Diehl, 13, who was comatose, was taken to Virginia Beach General Hospital. The emotionally disturbed boy died five days later, and the Diehls were charged with murder, abduction and felony child neglect. Diehl also was charged with two counts of malicious assault.
The autopsy report lists blows to the head as the cause of death.
Immediately after their parents were arrested, the other Diehl children were placed in six foster homes by the Department of Social Services.
The parents, who remain free on a combined $155,000 bond, have not been allowed to see their four biological children or 12 adopted children.
To date, the Diehl children have been together eight times, under the scrutiny of social services personnel. Tuesday's court order opens the door for the foster parents to arrange group outings for the children.
(lka) Shorter version in City Edition p.D-14
Copyright 1987, 1998 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
Record Number: 8701010891