Lawyer: Dollar kids' woes delay depositions

Date: 2005-07-09

SHAWNTAYE HOPKINS
St. Petersburg Times

Depositions of the Dollar children have been delayed until September, but the trial for their parents is still set for the week of Oct. 31.

"The depositions would have been done by the end of June if they had not been rescheduled," defense attorney Charles Vaughn said during a hearing Friday.

He said the depositions were delayed because some of the children experienced medical and emotional problems after John and Linda Dollar agreed to terminate their parental rights. Some of the children also attended camps that "were therapeutically good for them," Vaughn said.

John Dollar, 59, and his 52-year-old wife are accused of torturing and starving some of their children. They are both charged with five counts of aggravated child abuse. The Dollars have eight children.

The Dollars have pleaded not guilty and are being held without bail at the Citrus County jail.

The couple appeared Friday in front of Circuit Judge Ric Howard wearing red jail jumpsuits. During the status conference they sat close and quietly responded "yes" when Howard asked if they had had enough time to discuss the case with their attorney.

Vaughn and Assistant State Attorney Richard Buxman said they plan to have several motions filed by the next court date.

Details were not given, but the defense plans to request independent medical and psychological examinations of the children.

A request from Vaughn to reinstate bail for the Dollars is pending before the 5th District Court of Appeal. Bail had been set at $100,000 each but was revoked in February when the Dollars were arrested in Utah.

Meanwhile, Regions Bank this week filed a foreclosure action against the Dollars.

The Dollars have not made payments on their 30-year mortgage since April 1, according to the suit, which was filed in circuit court. The mortgage is on their home at 4984 N Pink Poppy Drive in Pine Ridge.

The couple owe $213,816 plus interest and a title search expense, the suit said.

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