Tylers arraigned on felony counts
FAMILY MEMBERS PLEAD NOT GUILTY TO ABUSE, RAPE AND ASSAULT AND BATTERY
Four members of a Major County family were arraigned in the Major County Courthouse last Thursday, pleading not guilty to felony counts of child abuse, rape and one misdemeanor count of assault and battery against one of the family's five adopted daughters.
On Oct. 1st the Major County district attorney's office filed one felony count of child abuse each against Penny Sue Tyler and Ardee Tyler, the girls' adopted parents.
The charges were filed following a lengthy investigation by Oklahoma DHS and the district attorney's investigator, Steve Tanio.
The state's case against the Tylers involves only the second-oldest of the couple's five adopted daughters, all of whom were adopted from an orphanage in Liberia in 2005.
The state's charges contend that, between January and October of 2007, Penny Sue and Ardee Tyler disciplined their adopted daughter with nethods that included tying her to her bed overnight, tying her to a post overnight, and forcing her to sleep outside in cold weather.
According to Tanio's affidavit, Ardee Tyler provided the state with a written admission of the events in the state's allegations.
In that admission, according to state records, Ardee Tyler stated "that what I did was wrong and I am sorry for doing it. I am sorry for doing all of these things and I will never do any of them again."
Ardee and Penny Sue Tyler each pled not guilty to their respective felony abuse charges last Thursday.
In a separate charge the couple's son, Ashton Malachi Tyler, is accused of sexually assaulting his then nine-year old adopted sister on one instance in 2005.
Tanio stated in his affidavit that Ashton Tyler admitted the circumstances of the alleged assault and rape during an interview on Sept. 24th, stating "it was a terrible mistake and I'm sorry, I never did it again, please forgive me."
Ashton Tyler pled not guilty to one count of rape by instrumentation last Thursday.
The Tylers' adult daughter, Nathania Dellare Tyler, also pled not guilty last Thursday to one misdemeanor count of assault and battery against her adopted sister.
Arraignments in the Tylers' criminal cases were not scheduled to occure until Oct. 29th. But, according to the Major County Court Clerk's office, Associate District Judge N. Vinson Barefoot granted a defense request to conduct the arraignments following a separate civil hearing involving the Tylers last Thursday.
The adopted daughter involved in this case moved out of the Tyler household before commencement of the investigation, and currently resides with Penny Sue Tyler's first cousin, Barbara Thomas-Johnson of Highland, Ill.
No allegations or charges have been filed concerning the Tylers' remaining four adopted daughters, and the four girls remain in the Tyler household at their rural address in Major County.
Defense counsel for the Tylers, Norman Lamb of Enid, did not respond to a telephone request for comment on this article.
The Tylers are scheduled for their next trial appearance in court on Nov. 13th in the Major County Courthouse.