St. Peter couple plead not guilty to starving boy

Published 12:13pm Thursday, January 3, 2013

ST. PETER — A southern Minnesota couple accused of starving one of their four children has pleaded not guilty to felony charges.

An attorney for Russell and Mona Hauer of North Mankato says the couple also filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss charges of child neglect, endangerment and abuse.

The Hauers’ 8-year-old adopted son weighed fewer than 35 pounds when he was brought to a doctor Oct. 9.

According to criminal complaints, investigators learned the boy had been fed a liquid diet and was kept from eating other food. Attorneys for the Hauers say the couple has not abused the child.

The criminal trial is scheduled to start in May.

A trial on whether to terminate the Hauers’ parental rights to their four children starts Monday.