A judge has awarded a grandmother temporary custody of four children who were removed from a polygamist family member’s home.
The judge approved a seven-page plan to help Ardous Finley, 19, improve her ability to care for her children – ages 3, 2, 16 months and an infant – and possibly allow her to be reunited with them.
Finley is a spiritual wife of Joshua Paul Kingston, 25, oldest son of Kingston clan leader Paul Kingston.
Child welfare workers were called to Finley’s home April 25 after a neighbor reported to police that the children were home alone and a toddler was crawling in the street.
Dirty diapers, feces and rotten food were strewn throughout the house, according to a transcript of an April 27 court hearing.
At that hearing, the judge ordered the Division of Child and Family Services to conduct paternity tests to determine who is the children’s father. However, Joshua Kingston later acknowledged paternity.
Ardous Finley and Joshua Kingston were in court on Tuesday, though they had separate attorneys.
Finley’s attorney is Mark Hansen, who also represents Heidi Foster, wife of John Daniel Kingston, in a child abuse and neglect case. Joshua Kingston was represented by a brother, David Kingston.
The Kingston clan, also known as the Order, includes an estimated 1,200 members. The secretive group has amassed a $150 million business empire, running companies that include pawn shops, restaurant supply stores, dairies and mines.
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