Former Oklahoma Adoptive Parent of the Year Makes Plea Deal on Child Abuse Charges

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Deidre Matthews, 50, plead no contest to twelve counts of child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment. Matthews received a life sentence, with all but four years of which was suspended. The district attorney says she will receive credit for the year she spent in jail and will only have to serve 85% of her sentence. She and her former husband Jerry Matthews reportedly lived with nine children, ages four to seventeen, in an animal feces-infested mobile home in Jay, Oklahoma. The couple owned fifty animals, including three spider monkeys and eleven lemurs. According to court records, Matthews beat the children, allowed the pet monkeys to bite the children and withheld food and water as punishment.

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