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Sugar Cookie

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A Martinez man pleaded not guilty Friday to six counts of cruelty to children in the first degree after his home was found to be in deplorable conditions.

According to an incident report, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office did a welfare check June 3 on a child staying at Michael Hovey’s home. The 10-year-old was spending the night with a friend, and neither Hovey nor the child’s grandmother was responding to phone calls from the friend’s mother.

Two children were asleep on the sofa and chair in the back room where Hovey was sleeping, according to deputies. Hovey said there were two more children at the home but he was not sure where they were. Deputies searched the home and found them in the backyard playing.

The report stated there was a strong odor of urine and feces. Plates of food and trash were piled on the floor throughout the house among other items, including clothes. Black mold and cockroaches were also inside the residence and the refrigerator.

Hovey told deputies his wife had not been living there and was planning on leaving the children with his mother so he could clean up. The Division of Family and Children Services was contacted and the children were released to their mother.
 

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