Child abuse charges headed to grand jury

Published 9:51 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

The scene at 34 Franklin Ave. was almost beyond description, Winchester Police detective Shane Southwood said.

“Just general filth,” he said Wednesday in Clark District Court. “Everything stacked on top of something else. Nearly every room, I can recall animal feces. In the bedrooms, there were piles of (animal feces). The gnats were in my face. Cockroaches were unexplainable. It was that bad.”

The parents of three girls, Michael and Laura Wilburn, were arrested July 2 for second-degree criminal abuse after social workers and police were called to their residence about the living conditions.

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Wednesday, both saw their cases go to the grand jury. Laura Wilburn waived her preliminary hearing, while Southwood testified during Michael Wilburn’s hearing.

Clark District Judge Cole Adams Maier ultimately found enough probable cause to send Michael Wilburn’s case to the grand jury.

Southwood said the family was staying in one bedroom at the back of the house, which is where the air conditioner was. The rest of the house was covered and piled with clothes, food items and feces from three dogs, two cats, a turtle and a snake. The urine smell, he said, was overpowering even outside the house.

Southwood said he also found pipes in the bedroom, which the Wilburns admitted using to smoke marijuana.

The children, ages 11 and 13, were taken into custody by social workers, he said.

Both Wilburns remain in the Clark County Detention Center.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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