Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nathan & Christina Snyder Accused of Child Abuse

A Berkeley County couple accused of depriving four children in their custody of food, shooting them with BBs and bottle rockets, and other acts waived their right to a hearing Monday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Nathan Allen Snyder, 26, and Christina Ann Snyder, 40, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., were released Monday from Eastern Regional Jail after their bonds were reduced from $200,000 to $40,000 each, according to court records.

The Snyders, who had been in jail since May 14, are charged with four felony counts each of child abuse resulting in injury, according to court records. They are not to have any contact with the children, according to conditions of their release.

The children are staying with a family member in Hampshire County, W.Va., court officials said Monday.

With Monday’s hearing waived, the charges against the Snyders are bound over to circuit court, where Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely’s office can present the case to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The victims are an 8-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy and two 14-year-old boys, according to complaints filed in May in magistrate court by Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department Deputies Steven Crites and C.K. Gibbons.

The girl told police a cigarette was put out on her left knee, a finger on her right hand was burned, soap was put in her mouth, her eyeglasses were broken when her stepfather came into her bedroom naked and she was verbally abused, according to court records.

The 12-year-old boy told police he was burned with cigarettes, had smoke blown in his face, was punched in the stomach and arm, and was made to run laps around a gravel road in his bare feet, according to court records.

One of the two 14-year-old victims said he was beaten on the head with a spoon until he started bleeding and he was struck in the back with a bottle rocket that stung a lot more than it burned, according to court records.

The teenager told police he was choked to the point of nearly passing out, and was awakened in the middle of the night and told go to a neighbor’s house about a mile away to ask for beer and cigarettes, according to court records.

He told police he had to give his stepfather and mother massages in order to eat and also said the only thing that made him happy was going to school. The boy said the Snyders stole money from him and took Christmas gifts that his grandfather gave him and forced him to buy them back, according to court records.

The teen’s twin brother told police the massages for food had been happening since they were little, according to court records.

He said he was forced to live in some “nasty places” with his mother and stepfather, and he had to go to the bathroom in a bucket, put it in a bag and throw it in the woods, according to court records.

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