405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Mom of 2008 "Adoptive Family of the Year" Charged with Abuse, Neglect

07-Apr-2014

AC/DC says "it's a long way to the top," so it stands to reason that it's a long way down if you fall. One Oklahoma woman is tasting the irony of being charged with child abuse and neglect only a few short years after being named as the "Adoptive Family of the Year" by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Deidre Matthews of Jay, Oklahoma, is the adoptive and foster mother to eight girls and one boy, aged 4 to 17. She came to the attention of the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in late February after the agency received reports that a 14-year-old girl in the home was repeatedly assaulted by a sibling, and that Matthews was abusing painkillers to the point where she could not protect or provide for her children.

Deputies say that during their investigation, Matthews boasted that her family was named the DHS Adoptive Family of the Year in 2008; however, the mobile home in which she lived with nine children and dozens of animals was covered in filth, full of garbage, rotting food, cockroaches, and animal feces.

Investigators say that when they spoke with Matthews, she was glassy-eyed and "unsteady on her feet."

According to a local report, at least one of her children told investigators that Matthews abuses painkillers, and that the woman has a monthly prescription for 360 tablets of hydrocodone. Because she was so heavily medicated, say her children, the care of the younger children--a 10-year-old boy, two 8-year-old girls, and three younger girls aged 7, 6, and 4--fell upon the oldest two girls, aged 14 and 17. The children were also responsible for taking care of and feeding dozens of exotic animals in the home, including monkeys, lemurs, marmosets, miniature horses, birds, foreign and domestic racoons, and a buffalo, in addition to more typical domestic animals such as dogs, cats, goats, and cattle.

At one time, investigators say, the family kept up to 20 primates, and the 14-year-old girl and another child both say they were attacked and bitten by a spider monkey living in the home. They told deputies that they never received medical attention for the animal bites, and that Matthews stitched up their wounds with a needle and thread.

The 14-year-old girl was removed from the home by Sheriff's deputies, who overrode DHS authority when they investigated the abuse and neglect claims but failed to remove the children from the home. DHS approved the removal of the remaining children by their father, Jerry Matthews.

The above descriptions certainly does not sound like an award-winning home. Unfortunately, addiction can have terrible ramifications not only for the person consumed by drugs, but also for everyone around him or her. If the allegations are true, it is regrettable that the mother of this family could not receive appropriate help or treatment to end her painkiller abuse before it rendered her unable to care for her children, causing her to neglect them and endanger them.

In cases of addiction, child abuse, and child neglect, the best possible outcome is for all of those who have been harmed to get the treatment and care they need for the fullest recovery.




 



All News

More News

Tulsa Tire Store Employee Accused of Sexually Assaulting Customer
17-Jul-2017

An employee of a Tulsa tire store has been arrested on a sexual ba..

Man Sentenced in Shooting of Valley Brook Police Officer
14-Jul-2017

An Oklahoma City man who shot a Valley Brook police officer on New..

No Restrictions on Oklahoma Sex Offender Moving Next Door to Victim
10-Jul-2017

Oklahoma places a lot of residency restrictions on convicted sex o..

Norman Father Arrested in Daughter's Shooting Death
07-Jul-2017

Just before dawn on June 29, a Norman man called 9-1-1 to report t..

Man's Child Abuse Charge Upgraded to Murder
03-Jul-2017

An Oklahoma City man charged with child abuse after his infant nep..

Garvin County Man Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Neighbor
30-Jun-2017

A man convicted in February of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old ne..

Oklahoma Man Accused of Attempting to Kill Cousin, Then Hiring an Escort
26-Jun-2017

An Oklahoma man who allegedly tried to kill his cousin in an arson..

Supreme Court Ruling Says Trademark Law Barring Offensive Names Infringes on Free Speech
23-Jun-2017

You have likely never heard of Asian American rock band the Slants..

Teen Who Urged Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Convicted of Manslaughter
19-Jun-2017

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III attempted to take his own..

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Warrantless Cell Phone Location Search Violates Fourth Amendment
12-Jun-2017

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that cou..

×