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A Joshua Superior Court judge gave the Joshua Tree couple arrested late last month and charged with felony child abuse after their family was found living in squalid conditions a small victory after he ruled Tuesday, March 13, the couple will be able visit their children.
Attorneys for Daniel Panico, 73, and his wife, Mona Kirk, 51, argued the Department of Children of Family Services granted the parents permission to see their children during a hearing Friday in dependency court. They said the criminal protective order that had been issued barring the parents from having contact with their children — ages 11 through 14 — kept them from being able to comply.
The couple just left the court.
Several people are going to stay to speak at the supervisors meeting this morning during the public comment portion. pic.twitter.com/eElIXbfyXo
— Beatriz Valenzuela (@BeatrizVNews) March 13, 2018
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Jackie Klear, a longtime friend and supporter of Panico and Kirk although she admitted she would have much preferred the protective order rescinded altogether.
During their last court hearing, March 6, Judicial Officer Joel Agron released the parents on their own recognizance from the San Bernardino County sheriff’s Morongo Basin station, but they are still facing three counts of felony child abuse charges. The couple’s attorneys argued that day Panico and Kirk didn’t pose a flight risk and couldn’t afford bail, which initially had been set at $300,000.
The family made national headlines when it was revealed their three children and Kirk slept in a plywood structure — which was approximately 20 feet long by 4 feet high by 10 feet wide — on the family’s 5-acre property in the 7000 block of Sun Fair Road in Joshua Tree, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.
Three children were found living inside a box on a property in the 7000 block of Sun Fair Road in Joshua Tree. Their parents, Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were taken into custody by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies Wednesday. (Courtesy photo)
Their arrest sparked a debate surrounding homelessness and abuse with staunch supporters adamantly stating the couple loved and cared for their children but were targeted because they were poor.
The Sheriff’s Department, however, denies those …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News