Couple faces neglect charges

Police: Woman, boyfriend beat children, used food stamps to purchase drugs

GREENFIELD — A child told police a local woman beat him and forced him to beg for money at a local gas station, then took the money and the family’s food stamps and used them to buy drugs, according to court documents.

The woman and her boyfriend now face felony charges alleging they neglected the boy and his three younger siblings, court records show.

Telisa Parrish, 28, and David Nelson, 29, both of 1218 Belmonte St., Apartment D, Indianapolis, each face a pair of felony charges — two Level 6 felony counts of neglect of a dependent, records show. Nelson also faces a Class B misdemeanor of false informing, records show.

Parrish was arrested last week; she appeared in court Friday and pleaded not guilty to the allegations she faces, records show. An arrest warrant for Nelson is still pending, records show.

In April, Greenfield Police Department detectives were alerted that the Indiana Department of Child Services had received a report about suspected child abuse by the couple, according to court documents.

The report alleged that a child had been severely beaten by Parrish earlier in the year, court documents state.

Investigators questioned all four children, who each told police the couple physically and verbally abused them. The children reported they were beaten repeatedly whenever they were left in the couple’s care, court records state. They said they were slapped, punched and at times struck with objects, like broomstick handles and belts, causing bumps and bruises, court documents state.

One child was reported burned with a cigarette by Parrish on at least one occasion, according to court documents.

The children told investigators they would often beg neighbors for food. The couple would buy drugs with their food stamps and any money the children earned while asking strangers for spare change at gas stations, court documents state.

The couple also often got drunk and high in front of the children, they told police, according to court documents. Parrish once crashed her car while under the influence when the kids were riding inside, they told officers. One boy described Nelson overdosing on drugs and needing to be carried from the home as the kids watched, court documents state.

Nelson would often give first-responders a fake name whenever they came to their home, court documents state.

The Level 6 felony counts Parrish and Nelson face each carry a maximum penalty of 2½ years in prison. The Class B misdemeanor Nelson faces carries a penalty of 180 days in jail.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.