Trial underway in child neglect case where 5 kids living in bus

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. -- The child neglect trial of a Washington County couple has begun following discovery of their five children living in a bus.

A jury was chosen Monday for the trial of Robert Simons III and Mary Ella Tittle, who were charged in a 10-count indictment.

Prosecutors will drop two neglect counts, saying those instances may have been child abuse.

Investigators said they found the children living in filth with no running water and sparse living arrangements in April 2010.

Authorities said the children had never attended school and one has since undergone a kidney transplant.

The children are now 8, 10, 11 and 13. There are 11-year-old twins.

Defense attorneys said their clients have "substantial" intellectual disabilities.

If Simons and Tittle are convicted, they could be imprisoned for up to 25 years on each count.


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