Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Home's deplorable conditions lead to Lutz couple's child neglect arrests, deputies say

LUTZ — Pasco deputies say an early-morning gunshot on Saturday drew them to the home.

They arrived around 7 a.m. to talk to James Gregory Cole, 33, and Deadra Rene Willis, 38. Inside, they saw the couple's 2-year-old son, a Pasco sheriff's report states. It was the home's deplorable conditions, not the gunshot, that led to their arrests.

Dog and cat feces covered the floors and walls of the toddler's bedroom. His playpen "smelled extremely strong of animal urine," the report states. Prescribed narcotics bottles sat on low shelves and on a coffee table along with a box of drug paraphernalia, "in easy access of the child." Rotten food filled the refrigerator.

A deputy would write that the home's condition meant the couple wasn't caring for the boy's physical or mental health.

Willis and Cole, both of 1124 Foxwood Drive, were arrested each on a charge of child neglect. Willis has since been released from the Land O'Lakes jail on $5,000 bail. Cole had additional charges of marijuana, cocaine and paraphernalia possession tacked on to his report. He has since been released on $10,300 bail.

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