Woman accused of starving girl posts bail

Woman accused of starving girl posts bail

A woman accused along with her husband of starving and torturing the man’s 15-year-old daughter has been released from jail.

Dane County Judge Julie Genovese lowered bail for the couple to $9,000 each on Friday. Bail had been set at $22,500 for 41-year-old Chad Chritton and at $30,000 for 42-year-old Melinda Drabeck-Chritton.

Dane County sheriff’s Lt. Brian Hayes said Drabeck-Chritton posted the $9,000 cash Friday. The husband was still in custody Saturday.

Defense attorneys argued the couple had no money and that their bail should be reduced to signature bonds.

The couple has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The couple’s attorneys argued their clients’ finances had changed since they were arrested three months ago. The lawyers said that both have previously clean records. They said that the pair had strong ties to the community and there was little chance either would be a flight risk.

A prosecutor told the judge that a website had been set up last week to raise money for the couple’s legal defense. However, Chritton’s attorney said the website hasn’t raised any money.

Among other motions discussed during Friday’s hearing was one that that asked the judge to separate the couple’s cases. The judge offered no ruling on that request.

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Attorneys also asked the judge to allow the couple to wear civilian clothing during hearings. They said that forcing the pair to wear jail clothes portray a negative image. Genovese said she’ll hear from jail staff first before approving the idea.

Chritton and Drabeck-Chritton are accused of starving and torturing the man’s 15-year-old daughter. The couple has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

All parties are due back in court on Aug. 31.