Dad Headed To Trial For Hitting Kids With Wooden Spoon, Trying To Strangle One With Blanket
Omaha, NE - The father of four young children heads to trial next week after the kids told police he tried to strangle one of them with a blanket.
A second judge--in juvenile court--has ordered the children to remove in foster care.
Officers were called to Hillrise Elementary in Elkhorn last December after a staff member noticed a seven-year-old had a bruise on her forehead. The girl told police her father--Joseph Mark--hit her, her six-year-old brother, and her three-year-old sister in the head with a wooden spoon for being "too loud."
The children reportedly also told investigators Mark tried to strangle one of them with a blanket.
Mark was originally ticketed for misdemeanor child abuse, then arrested for felony abuse after the kids' interviews. Officers who went to the home near 189th and Benton Boulevard noticed that the three-year-old had a black eye from being hit with the spoon and that the living conditions were unsanitary. Among other things, they noticed a strong smell of cat urine and cat feces on the kitchen floor, trash all over the house, and spoiled food.
Court records say the mother "was aware" the kids had bruises on their faces and she'd heard them "scream and cry," but didn't take "protective action" to help them.
Mark faces three felony charges in district court and, if found guilty, could face up to 60 years in prison.
Reported by Kathy Sarantos Niver, firstname.lastname@example.org