A former Jay woman accused of torturing children in her care waived her right to a jury trial and is expected to enter a plea in September, a prosecutor said Monday.
Deidre Matthews, 49, of Independence, Missouri is charged in Delaware County District Court with 14 counts of child abuse, seven counts of child neglect, child endangerment, and enabling child abuse. She is free on a reduced bail of $50,000.
She is scheduled to appear on Sept. 20 for a plea, said Nick Lelecas, assistant district attorney.
Deidre and her former husband Jerry Matthews were recognized as Department of Human Services Adoptive Parents of the Year for northeast Oklahoma in 2006.
While married, the couple along with nine children, lived in an animal feces infested two-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home in the rural Jay area. The family had more than 50 animals, including three spider monkeys and 11 lemurs, court records show.
Some of the abuse outlined in civil and criminal court documents allege that under the care of Deidre Matthews, the oldest teen was forced to kill her pet kitten by bashing its head into a tree; handcuffing another child and placing her in a dog cage; forcing the children to stand outside or parade around the house naked; and keeping the children home from school to avoid detection of bruises, welts, and wounds.
Other allegations of abuse include beating the children, allowing pet monkeys to bite the two teen daughters and Deidre Matthews' refusing to seek medical treatment and withholding food and water for two days as punishment, according to court testimony.
Jerry Matthews pleaded no contest in July 2016 to two counts of child neglect in exchange for testifying against his former wife.
The couple no longer has custody of the children and Jerry Matthews has since remarried, court records show.
DeLoach to return in September
In another Delaware County case Austin Michael DeLoach, 26 of Beaux Arts, Washington is to return to court on Wednesday, Sept. 6 on a charge of raping a 16-year-old girl.
“The District Attorney’s office is waiting on more information,” said Lee Griffin, DeLoach’s attorney for the reason of the continued court date.
DeLoach left the state after being released on a personal recognizance bond and an ankle monitor in 2016, over the state’s objection.
A bench warrant was taking under advisement until DeLoach’s September hearing date.
On July 2, 2015 DeLoach texted the teen and ask if she would come outside to his vehicle where the two left a party.
The victim told authorities DeLoach strangled and raped her, before taking her back to the party where he dropped her off in the road next to the house, according to the probable cause affidavit. She also produced cell phone photographs to investigators to back up her story.
DeLoach confessed to authorities he knew about the party, picked the girl up, and took her to his family’s home where they “sat and talked for approximately 30 minutes,” before taking her back to the party, according to the affidavit.