It was a story that shocked Texoma, and much of the nation when the story of alleged child abuse in burkburnett was picked up by other media.
We continue our countdown of the year’s top local stories with number 6 and the charges of abuse against Sara and Jonathon Woody in May. Darrell Franklin has the report.
The story blew up on social media and received coverage in cities across the nation. A Burkburnett woman and her husband were charged in May with abuse of the woman’s stepchildren.
Sara Woody eventually had 30 charges and three sealed indictments filed. Most were for injury to a child…. one was for tampering with a witness.
Jonathon Woody faced far fewer charges and a tampering with a witness charge for allegedly asking the two boys to lie about how they suffered their injuries was later dismissed.
A Burkburnett detective said the allegations were unlike anything he’d ever heard of or imagined but said the children’s stories were corroborated by evidence and by other children in the home who were not abused.
“This is the most extensive injury to a child or child abuse case that I’ve worked on. But to be fair, I’ve only been in law enforcement for five years. This is the worst I’ve ever seen, and hopefully it’s the worst I’ll ever see.”
The investigation began on march 30th when a 12 year old boy was admitted to the hospital with a lip injury. At first, police say he told them the injury was from rough housing with his brothers. But, they say further questioning and examinations revealed an unbelievable method of discipline and abuse that shocked even the most experienced officers and child abuse investigators.
Among the alleged acts:
-Being forced to lick the rim of a dirty toilet bowl for lying.
-Being forced to drink a vinegar mixture and eat cold rice to make them throw up food they were accused of stealing from sara woody and her children.
-Being hit in the genitals with a belt and burning their tongues with a lighter.
And, among other assault and beating allegations, investigators believe the lip injury that brought the attention of police was from being hit with a metal spoon, on the lips and tongue.
At one point, police say the 12 year old said he did not want to talk about other things that happened because it, quote, “made him mad and sad.”
Sara Woody, who was reportedly pregnant at the time of her arrest, remains in jail on bonds totaling about $400,000, after a judge agreed to lower them from the original $3 million.
Jonathon Woody posted his bond and is awaiting trial also. It’s not known if he’ll testify in the case. The other children in the home who were not abused were taken into protective custody.