Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz
, the Paradise, California couple who were arrested in February 2010 in the beating death
of one child and the severe beating of another, were sentenced to prison this morning.
Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz were expected to go to trial Monday in Butte County Superior Court for the Feb. 4 and 5, 2010, beating of adopted daughters Lydia Schatz, 7, and her then 11-year-old sister. Lydia died of her injuries; the older girl required hospitalization but recovered.
Both have now pleaded guilty.
A judge Thursday continued a trial against a Paradise couple for the alleged murder and torture
of their adopted child, so attorneys can read the more than 6,000 pages of evidence, with more coming.
The pair allegedly caused the death of their 7-year-old adopted daughter and serious injuries to her 11-year-old sister during separate “biblical chastisements” with a whip-like instrument in February at the family home.
A Paradise couple are scheduled to stand trial in November on murder and torture charges involving two adopted children.
They are accused of causing the death of a 7-year-old adopted girl and serious injuries to her 11-year-old sister during separate “biblical chastisements” with a whip-like instrument in February at the family home.
According to authorities, she was beaten for several hours with a quarter-inch plumbing supply line as her parents took turns holding her down and using the instrument. The blows reportedly cause Rhabdomyolysis, which is a breakdown of muscle tissue which fatally damaged her vital organs.
According to local authorities, Lydia’s “biblical chastisement” leading to her death may have been for mispronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson.
A preliminary hearing has been set for May 25 to determine if there is enough evidence to try Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz for the alleged murder and torture of two adopted children.
Authorities allege the 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.
A couple accused of fatally beating
their adopted 7 year old daughter entered pleas of not guilty to murder charges.
Prosecutors say the Schatz repeatedly hit their children with plastic tubing as a form of punishment.
Because the wife has retained new counsel, a Paradise couple charged with the murder of one adopted daughter and torture of her sister, did not enter pleas to the charges in court Thursday.
Meanwhile, prosecutors have disclosed that a book by a Tennessee-based fundamentalist Christian ministry, espousing “biblical chastisement” with the same quarter-inch plumber’s supply line alleged to have been used in the ridge beatings, was found in the Paradise home of Kevin Schatz, 46, and Elizabeth Schatz, 42
Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz are expected to enter a plea today. They are accused of killing Lydia Schatz and severely beating their 11-year-old adopted daughter, Zariah Schatz.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said he has a direct connection between the Schatz case and No Greater Joy Ministry, a fundamentalist religious organization founded by Michael and Debi Pearl.
Police found, on the Schatzes’ bed, a 15-inch section of PVC tube, a quarter-inch thick. They believe it to be the murder weapon, as both Lydia and Zariah had “whip-like” marks that matched the length and width of the pipe. It lay beside a children’s book.
The PVC tube may seem like a strange punishment tool, but for those familiar with the teachings of Christian fundamentalists
and authors Michael and Debi Pearl
, it is nothing new.
Ridge parents Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz are charged with murder and torture following the death of 7-year-old Lydia Schatz and the hospitalization of 11-year-old Zariah Schatz.
Both girls were allegedly whipped by the their adoptive parents with a quarter-inch plumbing supply line – the instrument suggested by Michael and Debi Pearl, founders of No Greater Joy Ministries and authors of the controversial religious parenting book “How to Train Up a Child.”
A fundamentalist religious philosophy that espouses corporal punishment to “train” children to be more obedient to their parents and God is now being investigated in connection with the death of a young Paradise girl and serious injuries to her sister.
Ramsey said he is also exploring a possible connection to a Web site that endorses “biblical discipline” using the same rubber or plastic tube alleged to have been used to whip the two young ridge girls by their adoptive parents.
A Paradise couple Tuesday were charged with the murder
of their 7-year-old adopted daughter during a discipline session at the family home last Friday.
They were also charged with the “torture” the previous day of her 11-year-old sister, who remains in critical condition at a Sacramento hospital.
As officials continue to investigate Saturday’s death of a 7-year-old Paradise girl
and the subsequent arrest of the child’s adoptive parents, neighbors say the family was well-behaved and oddly secluded behind fences and overgrown bushes that hid the family’s Crestwood Drive home.
The family was very religious, antisocial and overall odd, [neighbor Donna] Knotts said
Kevin Schatz, 46, and Elizabeth Schatz, 42, were booked into Butte County Jail on murder and child abuse charges. Police responded to the 500 block of Crestwood Drive at about 1 a.m. after receiving a report from Elizabeth of a female juvenile who was not breathing.
Paradise Police Sgt. Steve Rowe confirmed that the girl was allegedly beaten for mispronouncing a word