OROVILLE — 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.
Butte County Superior Court Judge Kristen Lucena vacated the November trial date and set it for Feb. 28 in the case against Elizabeth Schatz, 43, and her husband, Kevin, 47.
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.
Elizabeth Schatz’s attorney, Dennis Latimer, asked Lucena to continue the trial so the lawyers can read through the large amount of evidence and obtain and review what is still expected.
The Schatzes are charged with murder, torture involving great bodily injury and misdemeanor child abuse involving one of their six biological children.
The charges carry up to two life terms in prison. The couple pleaded not guilty in June.
Ramsey alleges the ridge couple were influenced by a book found in their home written by a fundamentalist Christian group based in Tennessee, supporting the use of a quarter-inch rubberized or plastic “plumber supply line” to “train” children to be more obedient to their parents and God.
Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz will return to court Feb. 17 for a trial readiness conference. They remain in custody at the Butte County Jail with bail set at $2 million apiece.
Trial Delayed For Parents Charged In Child’s Torture Death
An autopsy report showed that [Lydia] Schatz died after a severe beating caused muscles to break down and release toxins into the blood stream.
Investigators say the couple used tips from a web site that condones corporal punishment to discipline children.
Prosecutors say Lydia died after being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home school lesson. Another child was also hospitalized with major injuries and lived.