Bond set for couple charged with sealing kids in room home alone

Amanda Leigh Justice
Amanda Leigh Justice
Joey Dean Lucas
Joey Dean Lucas
By Jody Barr - bio | email

PELION, SC (WIS) - Bond has been set for a couple charged with child neglect after officials found two children home alone in their Pelion house Wednesday night.

The judge set bond at $200,000 each for Amanda Leigh Justice, 24, and Joey Dean Lucas, 41. Each faces two counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

DSS case worker Shepherd Perry told a judge Friday the girls are in state custody and doctors found infections in the girls, and their bodies covered with ant and flea bites.

Investigators say it started when Justice and Lucas crashed a stolen Ford pick-up truck on Blackville Road late Wednesday night and fled the scene. They were soon caught by police and charged with possessing a stolen vehicle.

Bond was set for that charge on Thursday at $5,000 for Lucas and $10,000 for Justice, meaning Lucas must pay a $210,000 total bond and Justice owes $210,000.

The judge would not allow audio recording during the bond hearing Friday, but Justice sobbed as she disputed the charges. She told the judge she has never hurt her children.

After Justice and Lucas were arrested, officials say they told deputies two young girls had been left at their home on Pelion Road. When deputies arrived, they say they found a 2-year-old and 4-year-old sealed in a bedroom covered in feces, urine, trash and toys.

"These kids were living in human feces, urine," said Lexington County Sheriff James Metts. "They were soaked in a t-shirt with nothing but human urine."

Deputies say they also found drug paraphernalia and three pipes that appeared to have been used to smoke marijuana in another room inside the home.

Justice explained at a bond hearing why she left the scene during a bond hearing on the stolen vehicle charge Thursday. "The only reason I left the scene is because I left my driver's license at home and I probably should have just stayed there," said Justice.

The two children were taken into the custody of the Department of Social Services after they were found.

"We don't really know how long they'd been there, but it that had not have happened, we don't know how long they would have been there," said Metts. "Whether they would have been discovered before something more serious would have happened."

If convicted, the pair could spend 10 years in jail.

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