Pretrial hearing date set in ‘biblical chastisement’ beating death

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OROVILLE — A preliminary hearing has been set for May 25 to determine if there is enough evidence to try a Paradise couple for the alleged murder and torture of two adopted children.

On Thursday, prosecutors said they intend to call one or more Paradise police officers but no family members to testify during the estimated two-hour pretrial hearing for Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz.

Authorities allege the ridge couple used a quarter-inch plumber’s supply line during a “biblical chastisement” that went too far, resulting in medical complications that caused the death Feb. 5 of 7-year-old Lydia Schatz and left her sister, Zariah, 11, hospitalized with serious injuries.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said earlier police found a book in the Schatz home written by a fundamentalist Christian couple in Tennessee which espouses using the whip-like plastic line to “train” children to be more obedient to God and their parents.

One or more of the Schatz’s six biological children reportedly told police their parents had used the same implement to chastise them in the home.

Attorneys for the ridge couple said outside of court Thursday they are continuing their own investigation into the young girl’s death.

Kevin Schatz, 46, and his 42-year-old wife, Elizabeth, remained silent during a brief appearance in Butte County Superior Court Thursday morning.

Judge Kristen Lucena ordered the pair to remain held on $2 million bail pending next month’s pretrial hearing.

– Source / Full Story: Pretrial hearing date set in beating death, Terrry Vau Dell, Contra Costa Times, Apr. 16, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Apr. 19, 2010