Report: Neglectful parents had 'sniper's nest' in bedroom at Upstate home

(Photo: WYFF)
(Photo: WYFF)
(Photo: WYFF)
(Photo: WYFF)

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - Two children are in protective custody and their parents charged after deputies said they found them in a filthy home with what deputies described as a "sniper's nest" in the master bedroom.

The incident started when a Department of Social Services worker and a Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office deputy went to check on the welfare of Derrick Lister's children, ages 3 and 5, at a home on Sheldon Drive in Moore. Lister had earlier been arrested for charges of growing marijuana.

The deputy said Lister was found outside the home working on a vehicle, and when he was asked if the social worker could see the children, Lister said that was a "violation of his federal rights."

Lister said that he would file a lawsuit against the deputy and the sheriff's office.

An incident report states there were several surveillance cameras mounted on different parts of the home, a confederate flag nailed on the home's roof, and several signs that said, "I don't dial 911," "There is nothing here worth risking your life for," and "No trespassing, Violators will be shot, Survivors will be shot again."

The social worker said she believed the children might be in danger, so she and the deputy went to the home and knocked on the door. A woman, later identified as Catherine Lister, answered the door.

The deputy reported that the home was in disarray with soiled clothing piled around, and the house smelled of rotting food and garbage. Once in the home, the deputy said that in the nearby master bedroom, there was a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle that were both loaded and had all the safety mechanisms disengaged.

The deputy said when Derrick Lister was confronted about the loaded weapons, Lister began to yell at his 5-year-old daughter to tell her mother to "lock the guns up."

According to the deputy, a bay window in the bedroom had frosted glass with what appeared to be view ports in it that provided a "field of fire covering the entire approach from the street," leading the deputy to believe that Lister had created a "sniper's nest."

The report said the children's room was in extreme disarray with soiled clothing, broken toys and stained linens.

The sheriff's office says there was a home office that had an Arabic prayer rug hanging on the wall with printed information on the deployment of U.S. troops in the Middle East. There were also several framed certificates indicating that Derrick Lister had served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer.

The deputy and social worker said because of the conditions of the home and the accessible loaded weapons, they removed the children from the home and placed them in protective custody.

According to investigators, the weapons in the home were seized and will be kept by the sheriff's office until "it can be determined if Mr. Lister suffers from a mental or emotional condition related to post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his military service."

The Listers are both charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

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