OROVILLE — 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 and the “torture” the previous day of her 11-year-old sister, who remains in critical condition at a Sacramento hospital.
Kevin Schatz, 46, and his wife, Elizabeth Schatz, 42, were arraigned in Butte County Superior Court and could face two life terms in prison if convicted as charged.
County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Tuesday both children sustained extensive bruising and “whip-like” marks on their bodies that were consistent with a length of rubber or plastic tubing, which other family members said was used to discipline the children.
The Schatzes were also charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of cruelty to a child, involving less extensive injuries to their 10-year-old biological son.
The couple remain held on $2 million bail.
Ramsey said after being taken into protective custody, one or more of the Shatzes’ six biological children indicated their parents had frequently used the tubing to discipline them, and that the two older adopted girls received “more harsh discipline” than the other family members.
The other children reportedly told investigators the parents blamed the 11-year-old for “being a bad influence” on her younger siblings.
Ramsey said the evidence suggests the girl who died was being disciplined “for hours” last Friday in the parent’s bedroom for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson.
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