News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 15, 2013

Trial date set for neglect couple

Judge lowers bond for each defendant $10,000

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Marion Heights couple have received February trial dates in connection with their arrests last week on charges of  child neglect and animal neglect, filed after police investigated a complaint at the family’s home.

Kenneth Walling and Tracy Walling will go on trial Feb. 6 in Vigo Superior Court 1.

During a hearing Wednesday, Judge John Roach lowered the bond for each defendant to $10,000 with 10 percent allowed. He also learned that Tracy Walling has already retained an attorney, while Kenneth Walling was also planning to hire a defense attorney. The judge ordered Kenneth Walling to return to court next Wednesday for an attorney appearance.

The couple has been formally charged with two counts of child neglect, a class-D felony, related to the living conditions for their two minor children, who were removed from the home by the Department of Child Services.

The Wallings were also each charged with one count of animal neglect, a class-A misdemeanor, related to about two dozen animals removed from the home.

Originally, they had been arrested on numerous counts of animal neglect based on the number of animals removed from the home. Police stated at the time of their arrest that the couple had been operating a puppy mill in the home. During their investigation, police found several dogs living inside and outside the home and carcasses of three dead dogs in the basement of the house.

An elderly woman also living in the home was sent to live with relatives.

The Vigo County Health Department tagged the house as unfit for human occupancy.