Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bail set for mother Tampa police say starved, tortured her children

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County circuit judge set bail at $120,000 Saturday morning for the mother who police say starved and tortured her eight children.

Arrested Thursday, Jamie Marie Hicks, 43, is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child neglect.

Over eight years, Hicks hit the children with various objects, choked them to the point of unconsciousness, held their heads under water, fed them spoiled food and withheld food from them for as long as three days, Tampa police said.

The two oldest children, twin 16-year-old sons, were declared malnourished by a pediatric nurse Thursday and hospitalized. One was 88 pounds; the other was 94. They should be 135 pounds, authorities say.

During the bond hearing, Hicks appeared in court on a video feed from jail as Judge William Fuente read aloud the charges against her.

Fuente was given a photograph of one of the twins, which the State Attorney's Office said showed a completely malnourished child with visible bones.

The twins' stepfather, Vernon Courtney Lovell, who police say knew of the abuse and didn't report it, also appeared before Fuente on Saturday morning. He is charged with two counts of child neglect and his bail was set at $20,000.

The criminal charges stem from the abuse of the twins. Police expect more charges as medical reports on the younger children are complete.

The Florida Department of Children and Families is sheltering all eight children and now has an open investigation into the situation. Hicks and Lovell, 53, were ordered to have no contact with the children.

Bail set for mother Tampa police say starved, tortured her children 03/29/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2014 8:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Proino Breakfast Club owner charged with not paying state taxes

    Crime

    LARGO — Just before noon on a recent Sunday at Proino Breakfast Club, the dining room was bustling as owner George Soulellis chatted with a customer.

    Proino Breakfast Club at 201 West Bay Drive in Largo. The owner was arrested last month on a theft of state funds charge, according to court records. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. No compatibility in sight for E-ZPass and Florida toll system

    Roads

    When is the Florida DOT going to accept E-ZPass on its toll roads? Orlando's Central Expressway accepts it.

    Catherine Needham

    Lorrie Lykins
  3. Navy expected to relieve admiral in charge of 7th Fleet in response to deadly disasters at sea

    Nation

    The Navy will relieve the senior admiral in charge of the service's 7th Fleet based in Japan in response to four embarrassing accidents this year, two of which killed sailors at sea, two U.S. officials said.

    Tugboats assist the guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain on its way to Changi Naval Base in Singapore on Monday. [U.S. Navy]
  4. Trump chides media over Charlottesville

    National

    President Donald Trump is blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to a Charlottesville, Va., protest organized by white supremacists that led to the killing of a counter-protester.

    Trump met service members before the rally.
  5. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.