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Vermilion couple asks for reduced bond in child abuse case

Jessica Cuffman • Jan 24, 2013 at 5:10 AM

Denise Demmitt, attorney for James Brothers, 33, and Adrienne Bartholomew, 25, filed the motion in Erie County Common Pleas Court this week.

Brothers and Bartholomew are being held at the Erie County jail on $280,000 bond apiece.

Demmitt said Brothers and Bartholomew are low-flight risks — they've lived in Erie County for the past six years at their Vermilion Township home.

"Maintaining the family home is essential to sustaining the needs of this large special-needs family," Demmitt said, in asking the judge to reduce their bond.

The couple's youngest son — 18-month-old Isaac Brothers-Bartholomew — died Nov. 6 of malnutrition at the family's Risden Road home.    

The surviving six children, ages 11 to 2, have since been placed in foster care, although some of them were treated at the hospital for malnourishment.  

Many of the children suffer from medical conditions and disabilities, deputies have said.

An Erie County grand jury this month indicted Brothers, Bartholomew and the children's grandmother — Deborah Nelson, 62, of Vermilion — on five counts child endangering, five counts patient endangering and two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Nelson, the home health provider for at least three of the children, faces an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter. As a nurse, she had an additional responsibility to report the suspected malnutrition, prosecutors have said.

Nelson has hired Thomas Dusza as her attorney. She remains in jail on $380,000 bond.

All three defendants are set to appear for pretrials next month.

Demmitt plans to ask Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette to place Brothers and Bartholomew on house arrest with electronic monitoring, to guarantee their future court appearances.


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