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Mother in Apartment Squalor Case Admits Child Neglect

September 14, 1994

CHICAGO (AP) _ Two parents in the case of 19 children found in a squalid apartment where toddlers fought the dog for food accepted civil neglect charges Tuesday in a plea agreement.

Maxine Melton admitted to the charge hoping to regain custody of her five children. Joining her was Gregory Turner, the father of one of her youngsters.

The action came before the start of a Juvenile Court hearing to determine custody of the 19 children now living in foster homes.

Police discovered the children in the cockroach-infested apartment in February after being tipped that drugs were being sold there.

Attorney Edward Rothschild said Melton admitted neglect so more serious abuse charges would be dropped. As a result, her case will be considered separately from her sisters.

In April, a father and five mothers were convicted of misdemeanor criminal neglect and sentenced to varying jail terms. But the judge said none would have to serve any time if they completed parenting and job training classes and stayed drug-free through October.

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