Judge orders Bradenton parents charged with child neglect to parenting classes
MANATEE -- A judge ordered the two parents out of four family members charged with neglecting a 20-month-old and an 8-month-old baby to undergo parenting classes or counseling as conditions of their release from jail.
All four family members were granted bond Saturday morning.
"The responsibilities of a biological mother for a child are paramount in today's society," Circuit Judge John Lakin said to the mother. "She needs to understand the incredible importance of raising children."
The father, he said, also needs to learn "the enormous responsibility of being father in this society."
Theresa Miller, 19, the mother; Keith Davis, 47, the father; Linda A. Miller, 40, the grandmother; and Linda E. Miller, 67, the great-grandmother, are each charged with two counts of child neglect after deputies found the babies living in "deplorable" conditions, according to reports.
Deputies serving an eviction notice in the 1500 block of 60th Avenue Drive East in Bradenton at 8:52 a.m. Thursday reportedly found horrible conditions for the two young children. Deputies were struck by an "unbearable" smell with trash and broken glass strewn all over the yard, cats wandering the property, swarming flies, human, animal feces and urine all over the floors and walls, a blanket soaked with urine and an unused bathtub.
The children were placed in protective custody, and all four adults in the family were arrested.
After being held a second night in jail without bond because a probable cause affidavit did not list the ages of children, all four appeared Saturday morning for a first-appearance hearing.
"I am concerned about the really horrific environment the children were in," Lakin said to the first of the four family members. "That raises some real concerns for this court."
Theresa Miller, Linda A. Miller and Davis were each granted bonds totaling $5,000. They were each also ordered into the supervised release program with the condition they have no contact with the children.
Lakin order additional conditions for Theresa Miller and Davis, including they cannot consume alcohol or illegal drugs and must take parenting classes or attend counseling.
Because of her age and lack of criminal history, Linda E. Miller was granted bonds totaling $3,000 and also ordered to have no contact with the children.
The Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent all four family members.
Davis addressed Lakin during the hearing with concerns about missing an upcoming disability hearing with the Social Security Administration.
Lakin responded by asking him about his employment, referring to the arrest warrant, which states Davis is employed.
"I do part-time stuff, just for different odd people," Davis said. "That's the only thing I do."
Davis was told he needed to raise his concern with his attorney.
Davis is the only one of the four with any employment listed on his arrest report.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.