Nephew who lived with parents charged in abuse of 6-year-old speaks out

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — The case against a mother and father accused of locking their 6-year-old daughter naked in a dog cage, beating her and denying her food will head to trial.

Jacob Weight and Mimi Frost had their preliminary hearing in magistrate court Tuesday afternoon.

>>> 6-year-old held in dog crate, assaulted ‘multiple’ times, state police say; parents charged

They had nothing to say to Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek as they were escorted into court.

District Attorney Mike Aubele said the girl was a heartbeat away from death.

“This girl’s body temperature was 88 degrees when she got to the hospital,” Aubele said. “It’s only a miracle that she was able to survive.”

Two firefighters took the stand and told the court about the call they were dispatched to on Jan. 7. That is when Weight called police and told them his daughter was unresponsive after a bath. Two troopers with state police also testified about that incident, saying Weight was reluctant to allow first responders into the home because of what they said were eight to 10 pitbulls inside the home.

First responders said there was a strong odor of urine and dog feces throughout the entire house, doors had to be drilled open, and there was an outdoor picket gate drilled into the wall at the bottom of the stairs. Police said they were told that was to keep dogs out of certain areas.

A case worker with the county Children and Youth Services also testified. She said she observed the girl at the hospital. She said the girl was under a warming blanket and she observed photos taken by the hospital that showed injuries “almost on every surface of her body.”

Dylan Cable also took the stand. He’s the nephew of Weight and Frost.

He said he lived with his aunt and uncle since last April and was there when the incident occurred in January. He said he saw both of them put his cousin in a dog cage, zip-tie her legs and arms together, and then “hog-tie” her. He said he saw them hit her with a broom handle, and even grab the girl by the neck and lift her off her feet for minutes at a time until she was almost passed out.

He said this happened as punishment when she would go to the bathroom in her pants or try to get food from the fridge at night.

Cable said he was also told by the parents to lock the girl up in the cage.

“Mr. Weight texted children in the home directly and directed them to put this girl in the cage,” Aubele said.

Cable spoke with Channel 11 after the hearing and said he was afraid to not go along with the abuse because he has trauma of his own childhood, and was afraid of retaliation.

“I was forced to slap her in the back of the head, slap her in the back, dump water on her and stuff,” he said. “I only dumped the water on her and stuff. But I only dumped the water on her because I didn’t want to hit her, and that’s the only thing I could do to not hurt her physically and mentally.”

While leaving court Jacob Weight said a few words before being placed in a police cruiser.

“I love my kids,” Weight said. “I always will.”

Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek asked him about his nephew’s testimony.

“Do you have anything to say to your nephew who took the stand today?” Havranek asked.

“Yeah. He shouldn’t have lied,” Weight said.

“What did he lie about?” Havranek asked.

“That’s all I’ve got to say,” Weight added.

“I don’t know why they’re calling me a liar,” Cable said. “They know what they did to that poor little girl. My job as the older cousin and the oldest person in the house was to make sure that little girl was safe. I don’t want her to think I would ever hurt her. I only did that stuff to protect her.”

Neither Weight nor Frost had anything to say when Havranek asked if they had anything to say to their six-year-old, or if they had any remorse.

Both Weight and Frost remain in jail without bond. The district attorney said more charges could be filed in this case, but the investigation is ongoing.

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