Waco: Man, Woman Charged In Child Endangerment Case

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email
A Waco man and woman have been charged in a case in which four children were removed from a home because of what police described as unlivable conditions.

Brandon Mower (left) and Veta Spears (Jail photos)

WACO (January 9, 2013)--A Waco man and woman were charged in a child endangerment case in which four children were moved from a home after turning themselves in on Tuesday.

Brandon Mower and Veta Spears, both 24, appeared at Justice of the Peace Kristi DeCluitt's office on Tuesday and surrendered in connection with a incident last June in which the four children were taken from a home after police reported finding unlivable conditions there.

Both were charged with abandoning or endangering a child.

They were both booked into the McLennan County Jail and then immediately released on $3,000 personal recognizance bonds, jail records showed.

On June 15, 2012, Texas Child Protective Services removed four small children from the home where they were living in "deplorable" conditions, according to a sworn affidavit that was part of a court filing seeking temporary custody of the youngsters.

A court order issued at the time granted the Department of Family and Protective Services temporary conservatorship of the four children.

The affidavit said the yard of the home at 2117 Jefferson was cluttered with such objects as a mud-filled child's swimming pool, dog feces, a butcher knife, empty cat litter boxes and various household items.

Inside the house the caseworker found "piles of dirty clothing, dirty dishes, trash, dog feces, food crumbs, household items, toys and boxes that were filled with various items…which could easily have fallen over," the affidavit said.

"There were roaches crawling on the floor and inside of dishes in the kitchen," the affidavit said.

The children all appeared healthy, the affidavit said, but were wearing only diapers and "appeared to have dirt on their face, feet and under their fingernails," the affidavit said.

"Their hair was dirty and matted to their head," the affidavit said.

The caseworker found one of the 4-year-old girls sitting on a sofa in a bedroom eating a hamburger, which she was sharing with a dog, the affidavit said.

The children's parents, the affidavit said, "Failed to realize the living condition was not safe or appropriate for the children."

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