Vermilion couple asks for reduced bond in child abuse case

A Vermilion couple charged in the starving death of their 18-month-old son are asking a judge to reduce their bond.
Jessica Cuffman
Jan 24, 2013


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.



Do not reduce the bond for these two. I would call them a name but I can't print what I want to call them. They do not need their home because they should never, ever get the other kids back if for some ungodly reason that they avoid jail time.


Well said...maybe the four adults who put their children in plastic bins could move in with these two...then they could starve each other in plastic bins...just sayin...


Their bond shouldn't be reduced. It should be raised! Two people that are in jail for letting one baby starve to death, then on top of that, others were malnourished are despicable. Those babies will be just fine in foster care, special needs or not.


I agree. I bet they want to maintain their "home" in order to receive more "state" checks. And "Grandma" is there also, as she should be. That makes 3. I cannot imagine not knowing this baby was starving. Wasn't she trained to recognize things like this? Ridiculous.


"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." I hope that they never get to take care of another child as long as they live!


Whatever they were maintaining it wasn't a home.


and that is why I put home in quotation marks. I agree.


Maybe they want to go home to make some more babies to receive bigger checks! Keep them in jail and please no conjugal visits for them either!!


What they were doing was not a HOME. They were NOT taking care of the children. Do NOT lower the NOT let them out. Those children will be better off without them. There are wonderful families that can and will take care of them...they way they should be! If these parents were so worried about the "maintaining of the family home" they would NOT have been so elusive with childrens services. These people make me sick.


I think it was grandma's fault and major responsibility although children's services should have stepped in much sooner. grandma must have known they were not getting enough food and nutrition and were malnourished; the parents may have relied on her guidance. But since you all have already convicted them, well, I don't suppose they'll get a break. who said they were receiving checks? and how is it they were elusive? I don't remember reading anything about those issues.


Reread the old articles.....they told child services that it "wasnt a good time" to visit...or that the children were sleeping....or that so and so wasnt home and to reschedule. And they had to be living off assistance checks, NEITHER OF THEM WORKED. They have multiple children with disabilities and they do NOT work? How else you think they are "living"? As for gramma...well she should lose whatever license she has, and be convited right along with them. She was probably being PAID to care for them by the state and was using them as cash cows too. THESE PEOPLE ARE SICK

Tru Grit

Let that judge lower the bonds, he will be ran out of that courtroom quicker then I would like to run those two dead beats to a hanging tree. It brings me to tears to think about the pain and suffering this young child went through before death. I don't know what is going on in this area with babies dying due to the neglect and abuse of the parents, but something needs to change. Children services need to start being proactive and not reactive. Someone can make a difference the only question is who is going to come to that calling.


I have an idea on why they want to go home and "maintain" it as it's being put. As someone that's been witness to how DJFS has done investigations on things - they need to get home and get it cleaned up, stocked with food and necessities so that when they get there to check and see if there were things there that they kids needed they can say "see we have everything that they needed, there's no way that our children were malnourished. There must have been some other reason that it happened. It wasn't our fault." Now I'm not saying that this is why they are wanting to get their bond lowered and gotten out on bail, this is just my opinion! I'm just speaking my mind here! I've got no one telling me anything and I've not heard anything so don't take anything I've said for gospel - other than I do know that that's how I've seen things happen with DJFS work before. And they do call in advance to set up appointments to come out and make sure things are clean and neat and orderly. Personally I think home visits should all be random and spur of the moment, that way you catch the family as they really are. You can't hide what's truly going on in a home - abuse, filth or The Cleavers from Leave It To Beave - whatever the case may be you see the real thing.


shameful if they do.
let them sit and cry...
like the cries that must have been comming from that home.
~RIP Isaac~
And may God Bless the remaining children.