MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) — A trial date has been set for a southwest Arkansas couple who are charged with allowing their 2-week old daughter to be bitten by rats.

The Magnolia Banner-News reports that 19-year-old Charles Elliott and 18-year-old Erica Shryock are to be tried Jan. 24-25 in Columbia County Circuit Court.

The two face charges of permitting child abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Defense attorney Joseph Churchwell says the pair have declined an undisclosed plea bargain offered by prosecutors.

Churchwell has filed an intent to use a defense of mental disease or defect.

A mental evaluation of the pair says both suffer mental illness, but are competent to stand trial.

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Information from: The Banner-News, http://www.bannernews.net