Jury begins deliberations in Schmitz trial

The child abuse case against a Trenton couple went to the jury in Brownsville Friday.

Friday morning, defendant Tom Schmitz testified, denying some of the charges against him, and offering explanations for his actions in others.

Debra Schmitz did not testify in front of the jury.

Authorities removed 18 children from the Schmitzes' home in 2004- many of them with disabilities.

The couple were accused of beating children with a wooden paddle, locking them in cages and forcing some to dig what they were told were their own graves.

The jury began deliberations around 2:45 Friday afternoon, and deliberated for several hours before retiring for the weekend. They will resume deliberations on Monday.