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An Elizabethtown couple was arrested Wednesday night after state troopers found their home to be “detrimental” living conditions for their three children.
Jennifer Hart, 33, and Christopher Hart, 37, face charges of first-degree criminal abuse. They were released around 1 p.m. Thursday from Hardin County Detention Center on partially secured $10,000 bonds.
Norman Chaffins, spokesman for Kentucky State Police Post 4 in Elizabethtown, said troopers initially responded at 11:25 p.m. to the Hart’s Berea Road residence in reference to a woman threatening to kill herself.
Upon arrival, family members outside the home said Jennifer Hart was inside with her husband and children and possibly armed with a handgun, according to a KSP news release.
Eventually, Jennifer and Christopher Hart exited and police went inside to check on the children, according to the release.
Chaffins said, once inside, troopers found the living conditions were hazardous to the health of the three children, who range in age from 8 months to 8 years old.
According to Chaffins, the home was covered with piles of garbage, dirt and clothing, and there was barely room to walk.
“It was unlivable for any child to be in there,” he said.
A citation indicates troopers also found several weapons within the children’s reach.
“(Christopher and Jennifer Hart) intentionally abused their children by placing them in a situation that may have caused serious physical injury or cruel confinement,” the citation reads.
Chaffins said police took photographs inside the home, and the children were removed and placed in the care of their paternal grandmother.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services was contacted and will follow up with the family at a later date, according to the release.
The Harts were arraigned Thursday in Hardin District Court via video feed. They are scheduled to appear Oct. 11 in district court for preliminary hearings.
First-degree criminal abuse is a Class C felony, punishable by five to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Trooper Bryan Washer is conducting the ongoing investigation.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or email@example.com.