Attorneys upset over judge's decision regarding custody of abused boy
SEABROOK, TX (KTRK) -- Local prosecutors are not happy over a judge's decision to move a young boy at the center of disturbing abuse allegations, saying their case could be at risk.
It's one of the most horrific child abuse crimes prosecutors have heard in recent memory -- a boy tortured and then chemicals poured on his wounds. Investigators say all at the hands of his stepfather Kerry Parks.
Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson said, "There was an attempt to literally rub salt in the wound and to use other substances to enhance the pain."
It happened for months to the then 11-year-old Seabrook boy, until school nurses discovered the injures in January 2012.
Court documents revealed Parks would allegedly "beat him with a brown leather belt approximately once or twice a day, five days a week ... would apply ... alcohol, salt or vinegar to the injuries almost on a daily basis."
CPS cleared the boy to live with his biological father in Florida, as Parks and the boy's mother Merilyn Parks awaited trial. Now the boy could be moved again to Indiana to stay with his mother's half-sister. Prosecutors fear the boy's testimony could be tampered with.
Chief prosecutor Anna Emmons explained, "This is a defendant who has already had her bond forfeited because she didn't follow the judge's order, in not having contact with our victim in the case already. That's why she is in jail right now."
One of the factors the judge considered when moving the child to Indiana, is that his biological father was arrested recently in Florida for violating his probation on a drug charge.
"I think the judge felt like, he's out of the picture, so that, that home approval really doesn't make sense anymore," said attorney Jeff Marsh.
The boy's uncle, Rob Mance, is now caring for him there and hoping he is not uprooted once again.
"Very upbeat," Mance said. "He's a very loving gentleman, a young man. Doing very well in school, extremely adaptable, very happy. Just a wonderful young man."
CPS and the attorney ad litem are working to file a motion to reconsider, but there's no word yet on when the judge will make another ruling. In the meantime, Parks and biological mother Merilyn Parks will be tried on May 17.
local, erik barajas
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