Child says Lyman couple withheld food

Date: 2009-07-21

Boy testifies that he and his brothers were often tied to their beds

By Lynne P. Shackleford

Dressed neatly in a dress shirt and tie, the now-10-year-old boy matter-of-factly told jurors Monday that Scott and Molly McCurry tied him and his brothers to their beds and deprived them of food.

The McCurrys face three counts each of felony child neglect and three more counts each of unlawful neglect.

A neighbor notified police in July 2006 after becoming concerned about the three boys, then ages 8, 7 and 5, who were in the McCurrys' custody. When police arrived, they found the boys in a state of starvation, looking extremely thin and very weak, with the 5-year-old weighing less than 20 pounds and described in an incident report as looking like a skeleton.

The 8- and 7-year-old boys each weighed less than 40 pounds, according to the incident report.

The oldest child, who is one of Molly McCurry's nephews, testified during the first day of the McCurrys' trial that he and his brothers were tied to their bunk beds, most often by one hand, sometimes by their feet. They were forced to urinate or defecate on themselves during the night while tied to the bars of their beds, he said.

The three boys weren't allowed to play outside, but stood at their front door during the summer months wearing bookbags strapped to their backs with cat litter or Clorox inside, he said.

During the school months, the boys would eat lunch and occasionally breakfast at school, but didn't ask to eat at home because they knew they would be "whupped" if they did or if they tried to get food from the cabinets, he said.

On Monday, the boy testified that when the McCurrys ate with their then-10-year-old biological daughter, the boys were forced to watch. The child said there were times when he would save food to share with his two younger brothers.

When asked whether he ever told adults of his living conditions, the boy replied that he didn't because he knew he would "get into trouble."

Molly McCurry's attorney, Clay Allen, said during opening statements that the couple had custody of her nephews and their biological daughter, who was in good physical condition when police took the boys in emergency protective custody three years ago.

Allen said the family lived in poor circumstances, with one operating car and no working refrigerator or telephone. Allen denied that his client deprived the children of food, but said they had been sick, vomiting and with diarrhea, in the days before the McCurrys' arrest.

Scott McCurry's attorney, Doug Brannon, says his client worked 60 to 90 hours per week in his construction job and brought home $1,700 to $2,200 weekly to support the family. The mobile home where the family lived, however, was in foreclosure and Molly McCurry "squandered" her husband's earnings and had wrecked the family car in an attempt to buy drugs, he said.

Both McCurrys have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The state will continue presenting its case this morning.


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