In court: couple accused in ‘biblical chastisement’ beating death of 7-year-old

A Paradise couple accused of beating their 7-year-old adopted daughter to death will be in court this morning for a scheduled preliminary hearing.

Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz face one count of murder, one count of torture and one count of child abuse.

The torture count alleges that the parents beat their 11-year-old adopted daughter so severely she ended up in the hospital with kidney failure. The child abuse charge is for bruising authorities reportedly found on the couple’s 10-year-old biological son.

The Schatzes are parents to six biological children and three they adopted from Liberia about three years ago. Seven-year-old adopted daughter Lydia died of blunt force trauma in February.

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. The 11-year-old was allegedly beaten in a similar manner the previous night.

According to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, the parents appeared to be following the methods of Michael and Debi Pearl, founders of a controversial fundamentalist religious group, No Greater Joy Ministries.


They also wrote a controversial parenting book “To Train Up a Child.” In their literature, the Pearls encourage parents to use a quarter-inch plumbing supply line (or other items like rulers, paddles or tree branches) as a “rod” to “train up” their children. Though they tell parents not to injure their children, they also encourage constant “switching” or “licks” for not only disobedience but also for things like spilling nuts or being foolish. Additional “licks” are recommended when the child cries out.

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.
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– Source / Full Story: Schatz couple in court today, Paradise Post, May 25, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: May. 26, 2010