Couple charged with child deprivation

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

A Jonesboro couple was charged Sunday with child deprivation after police found their apartment covered in trash and feces, and without running water or food for their three children, according to warrants filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court.

Joseph Lee Sewell, 26, and Brittany Marie Sewell, 25, made their first appearances Monday afternoon to hear charges against them. Associate Magistrate Betrice Scott told the couple that a warrant for theft by receiving stolen property was denied.

Brittany Sewell sobbed during the hearing and told Scott she didn't understand the child deprivation charges. Scott read her the warrant outlining the misdemeanor allegations involving their children, ages 10, 8 and 4.

Clayton County police allege that the couple had no food or running water in their Arrowhead Boulevard apartment. Police said they found trash and animal feces on the floor, no air conditioning upstairs and feces in the toilet bowl.

Brittany Sewell got a $5,000 bond and Joseph Sewell got a $6,000 bond. Joseph Sewell asked why his bond was higher. Although Scott did not specify, she told him bond amounts are based on a number of factors, including criminal history.

A condition of their bond is they have no contact with their children until the case is resolved in Clayton County Magistrate Court.

-- Kathy Jefcoats