Children remain with state pending second abuse trial

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Youngsters taken from a Gibson County couple charged with abusing disabled children will remain in state custody pending a second trial for Debra and Tom Schmitz.

Their first trial ended yesterday in Brownsville with the jury unable to reach verdicts on most of the child abuse charges against them. A second trial is scheduled for July 18th.

The state removed 18 children from the Schmitz residence in 2004. The youngsters, then 1 to 17 years old, were placed in temporary foster homes.

Most of the children drew government subsidies as "special needs" kids with physical or emotional disabilities.

The Schmitzes had a reputation for taking in children for whom foster homes were hard to find. They moved to Tennessee shortly after an investigation into child abuse allegations in Wisconsin in 2000 resulted in no criminal charges.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)