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David and Anke Doehm charged with cruelty to a child, remain behind bars

David and AnkeDoehm remain in a jail cell after they were arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The American couple suspected of causing the death of 13 year old Faye Lynn Cannon were charged for the crime, “cruelty to a child”. Since it is an indictable matter, no plea was taken. Despite their attorney’s request for bail, the Chief Magistrate denied the Doehms bail citing that they are a flight risk.

Hipolito Novelo reporting…
“David and Anke Doehm appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith in Belize City where they were jointly arraigned for the crime “cruelty of a child”. The charge stems from the death of Anke’s 13 year old adopted daughter, Faye Lin Cannon. Bruises were observed on Faye’s arms and legs when she was discovered at the family condo in San Pedro Town on Monday July 3. A post mortem examination revealed that she had been sexually and physical abused. The island’s residents say this has been happening for a number of years. The Doehms have not been charge for the murder of Faye Lin and that’s because evidence is lacking.

Cheryl Lin Vidal, Director of Public Prosecution
“We do not unfortunately at this time have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with actually causing the death of Faye Lyn but we didn’t think that it was appropriate for us to ignore other charges that could have possibly been laid and one of them was certainly cruelty of a child and so we decided that while the investigation into the death is ongoing we would nonetheless proceed with this once since we had sufficient evidence to prove this charge.”

In court, Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal objected to bail stating that the Doehm’s have little attachment to Belize and because they are from a foreign country, they are a flight risk. Anke’s attorney Ellis Arnold argued that his client has invested everything she has in Belize and has emotionally stated that she wants to be with her other three adopted daughters. David’s attorney, Richard Bradley suggested to the court to impose bail conditions that would disallow David from leaving the country. The chief Magistrate denied the duo bail as she believes they are a flight risk.

Richard Bradley, Attorney for David Doehm
“There is a serious matter, a child has lost her life they are not charged for that matter they are charged for somehow neglecting that is what is on the charge sheet that due to their neglect of the child which is an allegation against them, but its an allegation and from your experience you know the Supreme Court has granted bail to other persons who have had far more serious allegations than neglecting a child.

Vidal says it is not just neglecting a child…she described what she read from the medical report as something out of a horror story.

Cheryl Lin Vidal, Director of Public Prosecutions
“We don’t very often see this degree of criminality. The observation section of the post mortem report reads like a horror story and the doctor says, of course with the caveat that we don’t want to try this case here , that he observed fresh injuries, old injuries and all of them significant injuries. When interviewed under caution both persons admitted to knowing of injuries being sustained by the victim we cannot at this stage say that they caused those injuries but they were aware of injuries. They were of the view that she was suffering from a certain illness.

And according to Vidal, the Doehm did not take Faye Lin to a registered doctor to address her “illness”

Cheryl Lin Vidal, Director of Public Prosecution
“In all that time they never took her for any kind of medical treatment, in all that time they never took her to a doctor to be diagnosed instead they decided to administer valium to her and to perform some Japanese healing technique on her and the extent and nature of the injuries I think definitely in light of the fact that they were the persons who were responsible for taking care of this child amount to tremendous neglect on their part.”

And the Doehms have nothing to say on their part.They are to return to court on August 24 in San Pedro Town.